July oobarometer - beginnings of a recovery ?

July oobarometer - beginnings of a recovery ?

The July oobarometer price index recorded a nominal increase in year-on-year house prices of 1%.

"The latest oobarometer shows a slight improvement in year-on-year house prices for the second time in two months," says Saul Geffen, chief executive of ooba. "Although it would be premature to suggest that this is an indication of a recovery in the property market, the mild increase is encouraging."

The average purchase price according to the oobarometer is R775,172 in July 2009, compared to R767,266 in July 2008.

The month-on-month average purchase price has however decreased by 1.1% from R784,427 in June of this year.

The trend of diminishing average bond sizes continues and the oobarometer has recorded a 6% reduction in the year-on-year average from R587,222 in July 2009 compared to R625,214 this time last year.

The month-on-month average approved bond size has also dropped 7.7% from R636,169 in June.

"The continuing drop in average bond size is a reflection of the banks' increased deposit requirements" says Geffen.

The year-on-year average deposit as a percentage of purchase price continues to show significant increases, up 30.8% from July 2008. Buyers currently require an average deposit of 24.2% of their purchase price in order to secure a bond, compared to the 18.5% in July 2008. The month-on-month data also shows an increase of 28% from the previous month.

The average bank decline ratio continues to show improvement and is now at 47.3%, a 5.1% improvement on the previous year's 52.4% and a 0.2% improvement on June's statistics.

Encouragingly, the applications declined by one lender and approved by another have also improved with 19.7% of applications now being accepted by another lender. While this is still down 19.5% from the previous year, it shows a 2.4% improvement on the June figures.

"Both the average bank decline ratio and ratio of applications declined by one lender but approved by another are starting to show positive trends," says Geffen. "This is an indication that the average homebuyer's ability to qualify for home loan finance has started to improve on the back of the recent rate cuts and increased competition amongst banks is beginning."

Full oobarometer analysis:






Change yr on yr (July 09 vs July 08)



Change month on month (July 09 to June 09)

Avg purchase price

R 775,172

R 767,266


R 787,427


Avg purchase price

of  first time buyer


R 508,241


R 545,515*


Avg approved bond size

< p align="center">587,222

< p align="center">R 625,214


R 636,169


Avg deposit (as % of purchase price)


(R 187,950)


(R 142,052)





Avg age of applicant



No change


1 Year Older

Avg decline ratio



5.1% decrease


0.2% decrease

Ratio of applications declined by one lender but approved by another



19.5% decrease


2.4% increase

Hello ooba news

In 2013, South Africa saw slow but steady recovery in the property market, paving the way for greater growth in the year to come.


Properties are languishing on the market as buyers remain cautious - but there are things sellers can do to get the best possible price according to SA's largest mortgage originator. Careen Mckinon, Provincial Sales Manager Western Cape at ooba, said home sellers have to be ultra savvy these days. Here are ooba's top tips to make your home as appealing as possible without breaking the bank.

The latest 'oobarometer' price index, first launched by ooba (formerly MortgageSA) in July this year, showed that average house prices have risen 3.4% in the month of September 2008, year on year.