Yes, I decided to venture into this wonderful tirade of negativity. "Everything will collapse and bla bla bla"
Here we go...
Decided to use this chart from a diff site hopefully it works.
I'll start a little closer to home. In the wonderful and bubblicious 2007 people were bidding up prices here in the New York City area like crazy. From 2001 to 2007 (I am not posting statistics but simply based on my own internals since I did periodically look at residential/commercial prices) anyways prices went up between 2 to 3+ times (200-300%). Was it justified? not really. Population growth actually stayed the same more or less ergo NYC held about 8 million back then and does so now as well. Slowly but surely through the reality of 2008, 2009, and through 2012 the prices went slowly but surely down for the most part. However, there are still 'cheap' apartments that were being sold for 350k-395k back then and same price today (120 m /1200sft) that have in essence sat on the market for the past 4 years or so. Most of them are unaffordable for the median household which makes about 50-60 grand a year. Slowly but surely those things that do sell are lowering prices. Miami got cut in half and still is somewhat falling. Arizona and Phoenix area similar. Texas never really went into unreal territory to be honest. California probably fell by a third. [I am talking about commercial and residential although commercial has been holding due to banks trying to push forward the inevitable]
Now lets take South Africa.
So we are after the denial and are in back to normal phase before the collapse ...
(try this widget you could go to 2q 2012 BTW click on house index and try 'prices in real terms' to get an idea of where I am leaning at)
Everyone thinks "we are different", "incomes are growing", etc... In 2006 at almost the height of the property bubble
http://therealdeal.com/issues_articl...ys-from-dubai/ they bought the "Essex House" this is one of the best locations in NYC stares right onto central park, close to plaza hotel all the super expensive 5th ave shops and whatnot. They bought for 440mil+50/90mil restoration sold in 2012 for 362+18 mil renovation planned. Lets be generous 440 to 360= -18% is a decent drop and this is the ultra center of the city.
Real wages in SA are far lower then here and the income disparity/fluctuations are higher. So the market is skewed in to those actors that have higher wages and are more mobile. The reality is real incomes are falling compared to the world, even as global real incomes are falling as well. Granted I figure your property taxes and other aspects of burdens are lower than here, in the end it is all about demand and supply. The other aspect is that inflation wise you have a much higher debasement of currency so property seems more attractive the problem is that in the end it is determined by wages and how affordable it is to the pool of available buyers. Every major country has foreign buyers they come and go but internals are in the end what push the markets to sustainable highs or lows.
My feeling is you are on par with Brazil which is also on the cusp of its' heights and seems stable at the new "normal"...
Generally once you get above 3 times median income for house prices it becomes straineous. After 5 its not really sustainable and if you hit double digits its insane.