Last year seemed to bring about a turning point in the real estate business, with many real estate agents and principals reporting that they found mortgage loans easier to access and the banks were more aggressive in their acquiring their market share, which has led to an upturn in the market, says Annette Evans, regional manager for the Institute of Estate Agents, Western Cape.
Many agencies have reported an increase in turnover and because it seems agent numbers have stayed the same at 22 535 nationally (the last recorded figure from the Estate Agency Affairs Board in April 2013) this means that there should be more to be earned by those agents who have managed to stick it out through the tough times seen over the last few years, said Evans.
In addition to this, Cape Town remains a top destination for many worldwide, she said, referring to reports in the New York Times and The Guardian listing Cape Town as the number one destination to visit in 2014.
“Estate agents should take this opportunity to capitalise on the indirect benefits from the ensuing interest from tourists, who could possibly be turned into buyers,” she said. “Many of these people might possibly want to own property in Cape Town, whether for holiday homes, retirement or family homes.”
Investment into South Africa shows a huge amount of promise as the exchange rates are in foreigners’ favour at present, she said. PropStats’ (the Institute’s residential property data information service) foreign buyer reports show that on average one in every twenty properties is being purchased by an international buyer and one in every hundred purchase is being made by a buyer from another African country, as opposed to Q4 of 2013 where the figures showed 5% from overseas and less than 1% from the rest of Africa.
“We also see the changes made at the EAAB as very positive, with Bryan Chaplog being appointed CEO last year and their increased drive towards turning the real estate profession into a more credible and professional career choice,” she said.
The Institute of Estate Agents is the longest standing registered labour organisation for the real estate sector in South Africa, and at the Western Cape branch will constantly be striving to fight for better opportunities for agents and will do their best to assist agents in keeping their training and legislation knowledge up to date, said Evans. Principals are also welcome to join and attend training, workshops and functions as they often act as agents or are actively involved in mentoring their agents on a daily basis.
At present the IEA, Western Cape, offer induction training, intern training, full NQF4 training, RPL 4 and 5 and PDE preparation workshops, and will continue to add more to their list of courses and workshops as the need arises. The Institute will be holding many talks of interest to investors, property owners, rental administrators – see www.ieasawcape.co.za for more information on their schedule for the forthcoming months.