December 2013 saw the year end on a high note for the property market with growth in property prices, bond sizes and bank approval rates.
Results recorded in December by ooba, South Africa's biggest bond originator, reflect positive year-on-year property price growth, higher year-on-year average bond sizes and a higher bank approval rate.
"At R933 528, the average purchase price recorded by ooba in December shows a healthy year-on-year price growth of 7.9%, while the average first-time buyers purchase price in December, was R708 989, 6.6% higher year-on-year," the company said on Wednesday.
The average bond size originated by ooba was R793 931 in December, 9% higher year-on-year, while the average bond size for first-time buyers in December was R627 021 – 9.9% higher year-on-year.
At the same time, ooba's effective approval rate of 65.2% is showing a year-on-year improvement of 0.5%. The trailing effective approval rate, which takes into account bond applications approved after month-end was 73%, showing that ooba is obtaining approval for more than seven out of every 10 home loan applications it receives.
The average deposit paid in December was 15% of the purchase price at R139 597, down from 15.8% in 2012. This decrease is also reflected in the comparison between the average annual deposits in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, buyers were offering an average deposit of 14.66% of the purchase price, while in 2012 the average was 15.22% of the purchase price – a decrease that Dyer attributes to improved lender appetite.
The overall value of bond applications received during 2013 was 13% higher than in 2012, with the value of home loan approvals secured by ooba during 2013 showing a 20% increase on the previous year. Statistics from ooba further show the average house price for 2013 was R911 22, up 5.6% on 2012's average price of R862 940.
According to the FNB house price index, the average house price for the entire 2013 rose by 6.8%, compared with the average price for 2012.
"These figures illustrate the improved property and finance market conditions that prevailed during 2013 and which we expect to continue into 2014," said ooba chief executive Rhys Dyer. "We're delighted that the property market has continued to show sustained growth over the past two years, and that lending conditions have eased."