Johannesburg - The average time a house is on the market has
risen from 15 to 17 weeks, the second quarter of the 2012 FNB Estate Agent
Survey revealed on Monday.
Eighty-seven percent of properties were being sold at less
than asking price. This was a slight improvement from the previous two
quarters' 90% and 88% respectively, FNB household sector and property
strategist at FNB, John Loos, said.
The survey is conducted among a sample of estate agents
predominantly in South Africa's major metro regions.
The balance between demand and supply in the residential
market deteriorated due to slowing demand and availability of stock for sale.
The survey showed that the average percentage by which
buyers wanted a property's price to drop decreased from 13% to 10% in the
second quarter of 2012.
One of the reasons for this decline could be the increase in
the confidence of sellers.
"And this may in turn be causing the slightly longer
average time on the market."
There was however still a high percentage of sellers who
ultimately had to drop their asking price, pointing to a widespread lack of
Another factor was a decline in the percentage of first-time
buyers from 25% in the first quarter to 20% in the second quarter of 2012.
This, Loos added, was due to significant financial pressure on households.
Also, 20% of sellers were downscaling due to financial
pressure. The percentage of sellers wanting to upgrade declined from 17 to 15%.
Loos said the survey showed an overall impression of a
"mild weakening in the market".
He said estate agents were still noting high financial
pressure on consumers, which was a concern given that interest rates were low.