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Interest rates stay put

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The Monetary Policy Committee met for the last time in 2017 and, as expected, left the repo rate at 6.75% (prime at 10.25%).

Not even a slowing inflation rate of 4.8% was enough to convince the bank to a 25 basis point cut, citing uncertainty in the local economy backed up by currency volatility and the threat of rating downgrades.

As Herschel Jawitz, CEO of Jawitz Properties, said “the irony is that with property price growth at its lowest rate in years – even in the Western Cape – now has never been a better time to buy”, but that the key factor in the current residential market is consumer confidence and not interest rates.

“When consumers start to feel more positive about the long-term future of the country, they will buy properties. Right now many ‘would be’ buyers are adopting a wait and see approach. The elective conference in December is going to be the next big milestone for the country and consumer confidence.”

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david.steynberg@gmail.com

David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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