Property News

Millennial women dominate property

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here women have long been the primary influencers in property purchasing decisions, they are now not just confident purchasers of their own residential homes, but are increasingly building property portfolios, says Chrissie Johnson, customer relationship manager, Seeff North Coast.

Statistics from Seeff’s mortgage originator shows that there are more single women compared to men in their twenties purchasing property. The data shows a nearly 400% jump from the 21 to 25 age group to the 26 to 30 age group, with sales to women peaking in the 31 to 35 age bracket.

After that, there’s a gradual decline in the single name purchases as women get older. This means it’s predominantly millennial women who are purchasing. The older group statistics reflect a pattern of joint property purchasing when earnings rise, marriage occurs, and when housing a family in larger-sized properties with safe outdoor spaces.

Johnson says young professional women are taking advantage of the low interest rate and while there’s been a marginal 1,8% drop in female loan applications this year, female applications continue to outstrip those of male applicants.

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Influencers to buyers

The substantial increase of women in the workforce over the past three decades has seen their role progress from being influencers in the decision-making process of high-value purchases to now being rightful buyers in their own capacity.

Women are increasingly looking to build wealth early and view a property purchase as an important aspect of securing their future, says Johnson. The work-from-home trend has further boosted demand for homeownership among females, especially those who have taken the opportunity to start their own small businesses or who have entrepreneurial or professional roles.

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POPIA clarity for housing schemes

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he implementation of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) has posed many challenges for community housing schemes, like sectional title complexes, apartment blocks, residential estates and retirement villages, especially around the appointment of an information officer.

“For POPIA compliance, every community scheme must have an information officer who is the POPIA oversight representative of the scheme. The Information Regulator has now agreed that a managing agent can be nominated as the information officer for more than one scheme,” says specialist sectional title attorney and BBM Law director Marina Constas.

The Information Regulator’s initial stipulation that the information officer must be an employee of the community scheme caused confusion and agitation. “A community scheme does not have employees at executive or managerial level, and doesn’t have an operational structure. The role of information officer would almost certainly be too onerous and time consuming for community scheme board members, who are not paid for their services, have regular jobs, and do not have the requisite time, inclination nor skill to protect data,” she says.

Seeking clarity, Constas and a group of stakeholders met community schemes ombud advocate Boyce Mkhize. “We discussed our concerns around the Information Regulator not recognising that a senior managing agent should be allowed to be appointed as the information officer of more than one scheme,” says Constas.

Since community schemes contract the operational and day‑to-day management of the scheme to a managing agent, a senior individual at the managing agency would be the most appropriate choice for an information officer.

“The Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) recommends that a written agreement be put in place between the community scheme and the managing agent company, if an employee of the managing agency is acting as information officer,” Constas says.

She stresses that the scheme executives are still ultimately responsible and will be held accountable in respect of the POPI Act.

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Buying trends follow pandemic impact

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econd quarter statistics released by home loan originator ooba shows how recent home-buying trends prioritise quality of life and working from home. Properties that offer flexible accommodation that allow for separate workspaces and additional space for families spending more time at home are in demand. With home loan repayments on a R1m home loan down 24% as a result of the drop in interest rates, buyers are taking the opportunity to purchase real estate that suits their new-found needs ñ at a higher average price.

Other key findings of ooba’s Q2 2021 statistics include: 

  • Double-digit growth of 16,3% year-on-year in the average purchase price for Q2 2021 compared to Q2 2020. 
  • The average purchase price is at a high of R1,407,071. 
  • The average purchase price of first-time buyers showed a 10,9% increase for the same period, reaching an average price of R1,104,351. 
  • Continued competition among the major banks has translated into higher approval rates and more attractive interest rates below prime.
  • Currently, 60% of first-time homebuyers acquire property without access to a deposit.  
  • First-time buyer activity peaked in Q3 2020 at 54% of all home loan applications received by ooba, and dropped to 48% in Q2 2021.
  • 94% of homebuyers applying for home loan finance through ooba in Q2 2021 purchased homes for their own occupation.
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