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PROPERTY: Increased Market Confidence from Property Buyers and Banks

 





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The latest statistics from ooba, South Africa’s leading bond originator, show continued year-on-year growth in property prices, especially for first-time buyers, with a simultaneous decline in the size of the deposit required, all of which are positive indicators for the residential property market.

The average purchase price in July 2012 was R846,863, up 3.1% from R821,579 in July 2011. The average purchase price for first-time buyers showed a year-on-year increase for the fifteenth consecutive month from R609,417 in July 2011 to R657,069 in July this year, a year-on-year increase of 7.8%. The month-on-month purchase price statistics do however indicate a trend of slowing growth in property prices, in line with slowing economic growth.

“Of our total intake of bond applications in July, 53% were from first-time buyers, a 5.0% increase from last year,” says Rhys Dyer, COO of ooba. “The sustained higher levels of first-time buyer activity are underpinning good year-on-year growth in property prices in the first-time buyer segments.”

ooba statistics have continued to show a reduction in the average home loan deposit, down from 15.1% of the purchase price in July 2011 to 12.6% of the purchase price in July 2012 and lower than the 15.0% of the purchase price recorded last month. The reduction in deposits is a good indicator of bank credit appetite, reflecting improved access to finance for home buyers with limited deposits.

A further indicator of credit conditions is the effective approval rate, the measure of the percentage of loan applications that ooba is able to obtain an approval for, growing to 65.3% of applications, up from 64.2% last year. Dyer says that this increase in the approval rate is driven by a healthy improvement in the percentage of applications that are declined by one bank but approved by another, up from 23.1% of applications last year to 27.6% this year, highlighting the importance of shopping around for finance.

The trailing approval rate, which takes into account loans approved via ooba after month-end is 68.6%, meaning that almost seven out of every ten home loan applications originated through ooba are currently being approved.

These improved lending conditions continue to drive strong year-on-year value growth, with ooba reporting a 28% year-on-year increase in the value of its home loan applications and a 38% year-on-year increase in the value of home loan approvals in July 2012. This is the best monthly performance recorded by ooba since early 2008.

“The decision by the MPC to drop interest rates in July by a further 0.5% is likely to add further mild stimulus to the lending environment, improving the ability for home buyers to qualify for loans, especially in the active first-time home buyer space,” says Dyer. “This, coupled with the improvements in approval rates and average deposits, is likely to sustain the current higher levels of lending activity.”


 
 
 
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