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Monday Nov 14, 2011

Political climate 'will boost property market'

There has always been a strong link between political confidence - faith in the future of the country - and home-buying confidence, says Bill Rawson, chairman of Rawson Properties.

"Surveys have shown that political confidence - or the lack of it - can often be more important than traditional decision-influencing factors like interest rate levels," he says.

"Right now the feedback from my colleagues and many others is that political and house-buying confidence has been significantly boosted by the far more decisive stance taken by President Zuma on maladministration, corruption and the advocating by out-of-line ANC members of policies not sanctioned by his cabinet.

"The dismissal of two cabinet ministers, the suspension of the police chief, the inquiry into the arms deal and the fact that whatever the outcome, Julius Malema has had to go on trial, have all sent out a positive message that South Africa will not be allowed to drift into a chaotic Third World state. These moves by the president, along with the Finance Minister's mid-term budget, have definitely restored confidence in a leadership that appeared to be losing control."

Rawson says what appears to be a stand against corruption at last will be especially welcome.

"Many years ago, Clem Sunter in his High Road presentations listed a lack of corruption as one of the three most important factors leading to a successful society. When state officials spend thousands of rands on useless airline trips and expensive hotels or sign leases (with colleagues) at three times the going rate, investors run fast.

"The more definite repudiation of nationalisation by various top state officials is also sending out a good message, and it is also encouraging that the main opposition party in Parliament is becoming increasingly multi-racial."

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)


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