With the inflation outlook deteriorating since the previous Monetary Policy Committee meeting – with the headline inflation rate again breaching the upper limit of the 4-6% target for the second consecutive month at 7.4% in June 2022, it was inevitable that a decision would be taken to further increase the repo rate, the question was simply by how much.

The Pam Golding Residential Property Index highlights some ongoing shifts in the national housing market. These include the fact that the Covid-induced boom in freehold residential property price inflation continues to fade when compared with sectional title, with the gap narrowing to a revised 2.4% in April 2022, having peaked at 3.9% in March 2021.

Given the vulnerability of South Africa’s economy in the wake of last week’s unrest, as anticipated, the Monetary Policy Committee adopted an accommodative approach by deciding to keep the repo rate steady at 3.5%, which leaves the prime rate at 7%, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

Over the past 15 years, the sectional title market in South Africa has become entrenched as a significant component of real estate sales, rising from 13% of total sales in 2005 to nearly 28% in 2020, says Pam Golding Properties.

With South Africa’s inflation rate below the lower limit of the inflation target at 2.9%, and local inflationary expectations remaining well-anchored, it was expected that the Monetary Policy Committee would keep the repo rate unchanged, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

Relief at no increase in personal tax, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group

Despite the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, the market for prime global residential property is expected to remain active as the long-term appeal of this sector holds strong - as sentiment improves amidst the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine across the globe, and as the Biden administration plans a massive stimulus package to revive growth in the US, according to Savills World Cities Prime Residential Index.

While a further reduction to the interest rate would have been a bonus for aspirant first-time home buyers and existing homeowners with mortgages, the Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to leave the repo rate unchanged at 3.5% was anticipated by the majority of market commentators, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown has been a catalyst for highlighting the different characteristics – as well as the commonalities of preference – among various generations of home buyers, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

Further repo rate cut would have provided relief for economy and boosted housing market, says Dr Andrew Golding.

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