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 percent (minus 2.4 percent when taking inflation of 5.5 percent into account) 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 percent. 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 percent were from first-time buyers, a 5.0 percent 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 percent of the purchase price in July 2011 to 12.6 percent of the purchase price in July 2012 and lower than the 15.0 percent 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 percent of applications, up from 64.2 percent 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 percent of applications last year to 27.6 percent 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 percent, meaning that almost seven out of every ten home loan applications originated through ooba are currently being approved.
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