February is seasonally and traditionally the best time to sell
In my many years of experience in closely monitoring market trends and statistics, I have noticed that about 70 per cent of the time February is the record month of the year for home sales.
It is a trend that often spills over into March. And it comes as a direct result of people's less frenzied routines in the year-end (December/January) holiday season.
That, more than any other time of the year, is when families congregate and tend to have conversations that lead to making plans that would normally not be discussed and considered during the year.
It is a time when more home buy/sell decisions are made and implemented while 'lying on the beach on holiday'. This leads to increased activity at the end of January and imprived sales in February.
Given that, at Ennik Estates, we have already noticed a 50 per cent increase in web portal responses so far this year, as well as a solid uptick in show house attendance, it appears that history may well be poised to be repeated in 2019.
Combined with this, hopefully, there is a perception that the homes market may already be reflecting an anticipated positive post-May 2019 general election outcome. If it turns out that way, it will certainly boost national sentiment. And sentiment is the key driver of market trends.
It will also give President Ramaphosa a stronger platform from which to make the socio-economic and-political changes that are needed, and to confront the challenges that lie ahead.
The lights will come back on
Granted, Eskom's power supply collapse, and subsequent unwelcome and disruptive 'load shedding' outcome, has been nationally unpalatable and sentiment-sapping. But it is not the same catastrophe that happened in Dec 2007 where capacity was the problem. This can be and is being repaired. There was no quick fix for capacity back then. It may well be now behind us and the lights will stay on. Admittedly the huge Eskom debt remains the governments biggest challenge.
A good time to buy or sell
Furthermore, Eskom management today is a massive cut above its predecessors. This is reflected in the fact that four of the seven affected generation units were up and running within 24 hours of the breakdown.
Nevertheless, the overall problem will clearly take a little longer to be resolved.
In the meantime, the homes market is perfectly positioned for its seasonal February/March upturn in activity. And the momentum of that process is not likely to be compromised by the Eskom saga, nor by speculation on the outcome of the national general election in May this year.
Therefore, right now remains a seasonally good time to sell or buy residential property.
Author: Ronald Ennik