Covid-19 proved to be the kind of global disruption some have been warning could happen. It affected the global economy, the way people work and put tens of millions out of work. It changed the way societies have engaged with themselves, and with each other. And of course, it wreaked havoc in healthcare systems in both developed and developing countries. From Lightstone’s perspective, it significantly altered the property and automotive landscapes. The forecasts we made, and the stories we wrote, reflect some of the ups and downs of what has been a mostly turbulent year.
The Lightstone Property and Vehicle Valuation reports, historically only offered to business clients, have since lockdown been made available to all consumers. The reports help home and car owners evaluate their assets and make better purchasing and selling decisions. Read more about the reports here.
Our April MyEcho survey this year found an optimistic industry that anticipated economic activity would increase in the six months to follow – although 40% of respondents believed it would take more than a year for the industry to return to a ‘pre-covid’ levels of activity. Read more
In a follow up survey conducted in August 2020, results revealed that the level of activity in the market would only reach 42% by July, however in June, the market activity performance sat at a more optimistic 53%”. Read more
‘The automotive industry will take more than a year to recover from the negative impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown’. That’s what more than 2 600 respondents across the motor industry said who participated in the Lightstone Confidence Indicator in September. Read more about the Confidence Indicator which includes the views of OEMs, dealerships and MBRs across South Africa.
Over the last three years Lightstone has hosted the EchoMBR (Motor Body Repairers) Ranking Awards, highlighting the top Motor Body Repairers (MBR) in South Africa. Read more about the winners in various categories.
Over the last several years, Lightstone has accurately forecasted residential house price inflation rates. After the economic recession in 2008, house prices grew modestly, peaking at 6.35% at the end of 2014. In 2019 house price inflation came in at just below 2% - under Lightstone’s “low road scenario” which had not foreseen the pandemic. Read more
Before the Covid-19 crisis hit, Lightstone estimated that during 2020 national house price inflation would drop below 0% for the first time since the 2008 economic recession. Following the outbreak of Covid-19, Lightstone offered three scenarios as to how the property market could play out. Read more
Covid19 could reshape South Africa’s work landscape – and with it where many people choose to live. While the full impact of the pandemic is yet to be felt, it is creating opportunities throughout the residential property market – and high up on the list is coastal property sales. As South Africa moved to Lockdown Level 1 on 21 September, it appeared that more and more families were looking to swap the hustle of big city living for the coast - where nature, family and lifestyle come first. Read more
During Women’s Month each year, Lightstone reports on the position of women in the property Industry – and this year focused on the fact that more women are first time home buyers in South Africa than men. According to Hayley Ivins-Downes this trend has held true for the six years between 2015 and 2020, “and that is despite the dramatic falloff in sales this year”. Read more
On average more than 90 000 South Africans buy a home for the first time each year. Read more about where they buy, and why.
LIGHTSTONE SPATIAL DATA
Lightstone’s study of traffic trends during the year found that commuters travelling from Pretoria to Johannesburg and back again in August spent 10 hours a month less on the road when compared to February. Read more about this and other key routes.
Given the Covid-19 risks consumers face when visiting high density shopping centres, Lightstone, in partnership with Tracker, introduced the ShopSafe app. It provides up-to-date information on vehicle numbers at shopping destinations they visit and helps shoppers find the least busy time to shop. Read more
Globally, shoppers have been moving towards visiting destination malls as online shopping lures customers away from larger, regional malls. Much the same has been happening in South Africa, and it was a shift accelerated by Covid-19. Read more about the shift here.
Black Friday has become one of South Africa’s most anticipated retail calendar events and although the ecommerce arena has grown exponentially over the last three years, many consumers continue to opt for the tangible in-store experience – albeit with strict Covid-19 protocols in place this year. Earlier in November Lightstone anticipated what might happen on Black Friday. Early media releases reported that consumers could expect some of the biggest discounts ever, but did this relay into foot traffic? Read more about what the 2020 findings were for Black Friday.