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Millennials tap into the property market

By Danielle van Wyk

While millennials have been described as entrepreneurial, health-conscious and tech-savvy, they also appear to be hungry for high-value property, stated Compuscan. This after data released by one of the country’s credit bureaus, revealed large open mortgage increases from the second to the third quarter of this year. With the value in the range of R500 000 and the age category between 18 and 29, it appears that younger people are more so entering the property market.

“Amongst the youngest group of credit-active consumers, there was a substantial 8% quarter-on-quarter increase in the total number of open mortgages. In fact, we noted that there was an increase in all mortgage balance groups amongst consumers between the age of 18 and 29, which we did not see in any other age category,” commented Jacobus Eksteen, senior data analyst at Compuscan.

However, although Compuscan’s data revealed an increase in the number of mortgages granted to this younger age group, the credit bureau’s data further indicated that there was a steep increase in mortgage accounts across most balance groups that had been subject to adverse enforcements, added Compuscan. “This was the only age category that reflected such notable increases in the percentage of mortgages with adverses, pointing to the struggle that these consumers may have been facing to stay afloat financially.”

Eksteen continued: “Mortgages to the value of R300 001 to R500 000 reflected the highest increase in accounts with adverses in this age category, followed by accounts to the value of R300 000 or less and those to the value of R500 001 to R999 999. We suspect that these consumers bit off more than they could chew and were thus struggling to keep up with their repayments. We are concerned that these consumers might have been overly optimistic during their affordability assessment, or might have come under increased financial pressure due to increases in the cost of living. On the other hand, some might simply not be aware of the consequences associated with slow- or non-payment and thus don’t pay their instalments in a timeous manner. We urge consumers to remain aware of their account commitments.”

Compuscan’s data further revealed that there was a significant quarter-on-quarter increase (18.65%) in the number of telecommunications accounts to the value of R500 or less that belonged to 18 to 29 year olds, added the company.

“This was the highest increase in this account type listed as open on the bureau amongst all age categories, similarly suggesting that more young consumers had gained access to credit. It is likely that a number of these consumers did so with the aim of building a credit record to take on other forms of credit, like mortgages,” stated Eksteen.

He added: “Indeed, we encourage consumers to build a healthy credit record, but we also stress the fact that any account opened by consumers – whether it is a mortgage account or a telecommunications account, needs to be managed well. Consumers need to be aware of all of the costs involved with credit, such as interest, and need to assess whether it is feasible to proceed with a commitment of this kind in light of their affordability.”

Overall, across all age categories, a 10% decrease was detected in the total number of active and open accounts of all types which are bureau-listed.

“The total number of credit-active consumers as at the end of Q3 2016 was recorded at just over 28 million. There was a 4% increase in the number of consumers whose worst position on their report was “3+ months in arrears” and a 2% increase in the number of accounts that were 3+ months in arrears,” Compuscan highlighted.

Another concerning trend revealed by Compuscan was a 16% increase in the number of store cards that were listed as 3+ months in arrears and a 12% increase in adverse enforcements on store cards.

“Fortunately, there was a 16% decrease in fixed-term short-term accounts that were 3+ months in arrears and a 29% decrease in this account type with adverse enforcements. The number of open accounts of this type decreased by 14%,” Compuscan explained.

Justmoney adds

We are heading into the silly season and with it comes the urge to splurge and spend recklessly, with repercussions that haunt us well into January. Rather be frugal with your spending  to ensure that you enter the New Year in a financially sound place.

 Handy tip: It is very important for your financial health to know your credit score. To access your credit report, apply from Kudough through Justmoney.

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