The Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to leave the repo rate at 7% and prime at 10.5% has been welcomed by heads of the country’s three biggest real estate agencies.
Dr Andrew Golding, CE of Pam Golding Property Group
“Household debt combined with rising interest rates has impacted consumer affordability, with South Africa’s largest bond originator, ooba, reporting a slowing in activity among first-time home buyers.
“The pause in the repo rate will provide aspirant and existing home owners with a further assurance of the sound medium to long term investment potential in property.”
Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff property group
“There would have been no value in raising the interest rate right now given that the initial fears of rocketing inflation seems somewhat overstated. A rate hike does not serve the economy and the rate hikes have in any event done little to deter consumer spending.
“In a more buoyant economy, a higher interest rate would be acceptable for a fair and balanced market, but as things stand, the economy would be better served by a stable interest rate.”
Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa
“It is one thing dealing with one or two increases, however households have been subjected to several pricing hikes across the board, creating a compounding negative impact on their financial wellbeing. In fact, we are already seeing an increase in the number of distressed properties entering the market this year. Further rate hikes will lead to more and more homeowners having to let go of their properties throughout the course of the year.
“Higher rates would only serve to further slow economic growth as most consumers are loan dependent to some degree. As the cost of credit increases, fewer consumers will be able to afford high-ticket items such as property and cars.”