Property jitters should ease after polls
General uncertainty should ease and the property market should stabilise and economic conditions improve after the general elections next year.
This is the buoyant outlook on the country’s property market of Eastern Cape estate agency owner and founder of the country’s only black real estate training centre, Xoliswa Tini of Xoliswa Tini Properties.
The East London-based businesswoman, whose operations include an office in Nelson Mandela Bay, is backing her positive outlook by opening her business to franchise offers, starting this month.
Nelson Mandela Bay, other regions in the country and more interestingly, largely rural and untapped areas in the Transkei region, form part of Tini’s expansion plans.
“Conditions are currently challenging in both the property sector and the economy in general. There is a lot of uncertainty, politically, socially and economically, at present.
“The new administration has brought some positivity, but I believe general conditions, and certainty in particular, will improve after the elections.
“I think things will stabilise, which should have a positive effect on the economy and the property sector,” Tini said.
She said the property sector at present reflected a buyer’s market, characterised by an excess of stock.
“There is a lot of stock on the market. Right now, sellers need to be pricing right and selling for the right reasons.”
Closely coupled to Tini’s business growth plans is her belief in the need for transformation in the industry.
“The government could hold a critical part of the puzzle to unlocking the residential property sector for black entrepreneurs,” she said, adding that the sector needed to become more inclusive in the way it did business.
“By this I mean bringing emerging black businesses on board, particularly in new developments.
“The sector continues to favour historically advantaged white male businesses at the expense of transformation to make the property sector more representative of today’s South Africa.
“Developers and banks have sidelined black-owned agencies for these types of developments,” she said.
“Private developers, in particular, do not involve emerging businesses much, if at all, whether as real estate agents, developers or in the construction of new developments.
“From the outside looking in, they have no interest in redressing the inequalities of the past regime and are betraying transformation . . “After 22 years, not much has changed.
The Estate Agency Affairs Board says only 8% of the country’s 50 000 registered estate agents are black, somewhat up on the 4% of 2007 but significantly down on the 2012 property sector transformation charter goal of 35%.
“This has to change, or improve,” Tini said.
"There was enough space in the market for new agents – and blacks ones in particular. “It is not a matter of changing the nature of the real estate sector because there is certainly space for new entrants.”