The impact of last week’s looting and violence in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng on consumer confidence would determine the outcome on the residential property market, industry analysts say.

The looting and unrest did not appear to have had a massive impact on KwaZulu-Natal’s middle-income residential property market, although the top end of the market was probably dented, Harcourts chief executive Richard Gray said.

He said agents at the 36 offices in KwaZulu-Natal did not expect the middle-income market in the province to be severely affected by the rioting.

The dent in security and investor confidence, however, might have a bigger impact on the higher end of the property market, said Gray.

He said he was more concerned about the effects on the market amid the weak economy.

Seeff Group chairperson Samuel Seeff said he was hopeful that the market would return to its buoyant levels, particularly in the under R3 million house price market.

“I am hoping this (the riot) is an isolated event, and will be viewed as such by property owners and buyers in time and as things settle down,” he said.

FNB senior economist Siphamandla Mkhwanazi said there might be a greater number of emigrations. How the residential property market would be affected, would depend on how the owners viewed their assets.

“On the one hand they might view last week as a one-off event and hold onto their assets, and on the other hand, they they might question the holding of the asset in the light of their probably increased security requirements and risk, and that on top of a whole host of recent property-related cost increases such as municipal rates and electricity. We are likely to see some longer-term implications on the property market.”

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