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Repo rate reaction: Property sector Yael Geffen

Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty CEO Yael Geffen says she shares the country’s relief that the MPC decided to leave the repo rate unchanged at 8.25% for the second consecutive meeting, but isn’t quite ready to break out the champagne.

“The fact that two MPC members voted for an increase of 25 basis points on top of the Reserve Bank Governor’s consistent caution about South Africa’s economic position point to the inescapable conclusion that we’re not quite out of the woods.

“It’s likely that before the end of the year we’ll see one further increase that will hopefully be no more than 25 basis points. The MPC meets again at the end of November, which doesn’t bode well for the festive season.

“There’s also no escaping the fact that South Africa’s economy is very closely tied to America. Yesterday the Federal Reserve kept its rate unchanged as well, but indicated it expected one more hike before the end of the year. I expect we should brace for the same.”

Geffen says this rate reprieve shouldn’t be seen as licence for consumers to spend more.

“We need to be conservative and think about every cent. Belts are tight and they need to stay that way.

“Home owners, especially, should save where they can and pump any excess