Rode's Report shows property price slowdown
After starting this year off with a bang, the annual growth in nominal house prices has tapered off in recent months, according to the latest Rode's Report on the property market.
But Rode & Associates chief executive Erwin Rode said the cooling in house price growth should not come as a surprise given that key drivers of house prices were showing no vigour.
Rode said the official unemployment rate rose to 26 percent in the second quarter, while growth in the disposable income of households fell to 7 percent whereas a year earlier disposable incomes were growing at an unsustainable rate of almost 13 percent.
He said household disposable income growth had outpaced house price growth since the 2008/09 recession, which should have made houses more affordable. However, he said, debt-toincome levels had remained strikingly high, making lowmargin lending to households less attractive to lenders.
'In fact, the rand value of mortgages granted is currently almost 50 percent less than the value granted at the end of 2007. In contrast, the value of unsecured loans granted has almost tripled,' he said.
He said the more conservative lending practices of banks were a major reason for the reduction in mortgages granted, with the National Credit Regulator reporting in the first quarter that the nominal value of mortgages granted grew by only 2 percent while the number of new mortgages contracted by 6 percent.
Rode said annual growth in national house prices rose to 12 percent in April but had since cooled to 8 percent in August.