Certainly not everyone who speculates in the real estate market makes money; in fact many have dabbled in the market only to lose badly. Most investors, including the successful ones, will tell you about bad properties and the lessons learnt there.
However, it's clear that there is money to be made in property but, how to do it? "Whether you're buying a property to live in or as an investment the key at the moment is to take a long term view. The local real estate market is barely recovering and the smartest move at this point is to hold on to your property if at all possible," says Jan le Roux, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.
Le Roux wouldn't advise buying property to let at the moment. "If you need a home to live in - purchase, if you're looking for a buy-to-let investment however I'd advise you to bide your time," he says.
SA market differs from US
American investor and billionaire, Warren Buffett recently made news by claiming that he would buy thousands of American homes at distressed prices if he could find a way to manage them all. As with anything Buffett says thousands across the globe scrambled for ways to apply his strategy locally. In South Africa however the situation is markedly different.
"Whilst the local property market has been affected by the liquidity issues it hasn't hit the same all time low as the American market. As such prices here are not as reduced and investors will have to look harder to find those bargain gems," says Le Roux. Investing at present is still risky if the plan is to re-sell quickly. The best way to hedge your money at this point is to take a long term view and to hold on to the property. Short term investors should look at other markets but potential homeowners can buy now.
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