Johannesburg - House prices in April showed the highest
year-on-year growth since June 2010, according to the FNB House Price Index
released on Wednesday.
"The FNB House Price Index showed a further
acceleration in April, up from a revised March growth rate of 8.1% to 8.6%
year-on-year," FNB Home Loans strategist John Loos said in a statement.
"This is the highest year-on-year growth since June
However, real houses prices - where the price is adjusted
for inflation - were 12.6% lower in March than at their peak in February 2008.
Since the inception of the index in July 2000, house prices
in real terms had increased 70.3% by March 2012.
Nominal prices - which do not factor in inflation - were
231.7% higher in April 2012 than prices in July 2000.
Loos said various factors contributed to the improvement in
house prices in April.
"The recent support for a moderately improved
residential market comes in part from a possible greater willingness of banks
as a group to provide home loans.
"However, we believe that it is also very much to do
with a recent improvement in real economic growth, which in turn supports
employment and household disposable income growth."
He said the lagged impact of earlier positive developments
could also have played a role. It was too soon to suggest house prices were set
to show much better growth, Loos warned.
"Given the current fragility in the world economy, and
evidence pointing to global economic growth slowing once again, it appears too
early to expect a sustained move to higher house price growth in South