Real Estate and Home Loan Industry Performs Better than Expected

29 May 2020, Johannesburg – South Africa is currently under lockdown Alert Level Four about to enter Alert Level Three and has seen every sector of our economy shaken to the core by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

As the country moves to Alert Level 3 on 1 June 2020, the economic outlook for the rest of the year is that we are about to experience a deep recession of between -4.5% and -8.0% Gross Domestic Product contraction, significantly more severe than the -1.5% GDP contraction of 2009.

CEO of MultINET Home Loans Shaun Rademeyer says, “We experienced a sharp slowdown in applications at the end of March and part of April 2020, however our year on year figures for May 2020 show only a 15 % reduction in volume compared to the same month in 2019. We started to see a small increase in registrations in the recent weeks as the deeds office reopened and attorneys could issue instructions.

However, the recent interest rate cuts have stimulated interest among buyers, as revealed by an increase in ‘buy a home’ search terms since the rate cut announcement. In 2019 you would have needed to earn a household income of R 32 167 (at 10% interest) to afford a R 1 million home, now that has significantly reduced to R 26 345 (at 7.25% interest) almost a 20% reduction in gross income. Even though the market is under pressure, we have unlocked a new buyer in the market, add that the house prices will not be growing it’s the best time to buy.

Customers’ income, current debt commitments and monthly household expenses are all considered to accurately determine an applicant’s affordability, and ultimately their ability to take on additional debt. This principle has not changed as a result of COVID-19, although it is expected that the income of some customers will be affected, which will impact their affordability, there are sectors that are seeing a boom such as online services and tech businesses resulting in a client base with the income to purchase homes.

“Banks and lenders are processing applications now that they have the ability to verify employment. We anticipate an increase in home loan applications as the Real Estate Industry resumes business.” Says Shaun Rademeyer.

Listen to Shaun Rademeyer being interviewed on #SABCOnPoint. 

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