Ntobeko Sishi, known for his role as Ntokozo in the popular series Gomora, recently opened up to City Press about his struggles with depression and emotional fragility.
The talented musician and actor revealed that he had been battling these issues for an extended period, reaching a point where he felt overwhelmed. Speaking about his new EP, Sishi shared how his aunt discovered his songs and was devastated upon realizing that he had expressed thoughts of ending his own life.
Sishi recalled the moment when his aunt confronted him about the troubling lyrics in his music. Disappointed and concerned, she gently advised him to seek professional help from a therapist. Initially, Sishi tried to brush off her concerns, insisting that he was fine and didn’t require assistance.
In his EP, Sishi remains authentic and unfiltered, addressing the difficult aspects of his upbringing without sugarcoating anything. It was crucial for him to share these experiences and open up about his less-than-ideal childhood.
Home Buyers Rejoice: South Africa’s Property Market Tilts in Your Favor
The South African property market is currently presenting favorable conditions for buyers, according to Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group. Despite a decrease in the number of buyers due to high interest rates and a stagnant economy, Seeff assures that there is currently no distress in the property market.
However, the company has noticed an increase in the number of people selling properties for financial reasons, accounting for approximately 17% of sales. Additionally, around 14% of sellers are opting to semigrate to areas such as the Cape, which offer better amenities. Only 9% of sellers are choosing to emigrate, Seeff stated.
Seeff highlights two key factors that are currently favoring buyers in the property market. Firstly, mortgage lending conditions remain favorable, with Seeff noting that these conditions have been the best since 2007.
Despite the prime lending rate standing at 11.75%, which is higher compared to the past two years, it still falls below the historical average of 15%-16%. Furthermore, data from banks suggests that buyers, including first-time homebuyers, can secure higher loan-to-value mortgages. Qualifying buyers may also benefit from slightly better interest rates, which is a trend not seen since pre-2007/2008.
Secondly, flat price growth is motivating buyers to enter the market. House price growth has been consistently declining over the past 18 months.
According to the FNB House Price Index, annual growth averaged 2.7% in April, compared to an average of 4% in April 2022. Even during the peak of the Covid property boom, growth only reached an average of around 6%, although certain high-demand areas experienced exceptional growth.
In contrast, global markets witnessed runaway price growth of 20%-30%. Seeff points out that, aside from the greater Cape Town area, price growth has been subdued for over a decade, with FNB last reporting double-digit growth around 2007. This aligns with the weaker economic trends observed during the past decade.
The advantage for buyers lies in the fact that property prices are now lower than they would have been if there had been stronger price growth. As a result, buyers can find excellent value, particularly in areas such as Gauteng and other inland provinces.
Seeff acknowledges that higher interest rates have put pressure on potential buyers in the last two years. Consequently, the demand-supply curve has shifted towards the supply side in many areas.
The market has seen an increase in stock volumes and properties spending more time on the market, leading to sellers facing pressure on their asking prices. This shift from a seller’s market, experienced from mid-2020 to mid-2022, where demand exceeded supply, now offers opportunities for buyers.
Despite the need for buyers to budget for higher interest rates, there are several reasons to enter the market at this time. Seeff advises that it is always advantageous to buy when the market is weak. Buyers can benefit from stagnant prices and potentially negotiate better deals on properties. Furthermore, buyers have the luxury of being selective in their choices.
In conclusion, the South African property market is currently tilted in favor of buyers. Favorable mortgage lending conditions and flat price growth provide an advantageous environment for buyers to enter the market.
The shift from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market offers opportunities for those looking to purchase property, who can now find better value and negotiate favorable deals. Despite the challenges posed by higher interest rates, this is seen as a favorable time for buyers to make their move.