Polokwane homeowners find benefit in staying put

Home renovation and stand subdivision are currently big news in the Polokwane property market, as existing homeowners resist the “hidden” costs of moving and act to unlock the value of their properties.

Maryna van der Merwe, owner of the local RealNet franchise, says that new mining development and an increasing number of business transfers mean that there is rising demand for housing in Polokwane and that low interest rates are prompting more tenants to become homeowners.

“This means that there are lots of opportunities for existing homeowners to sell, especially if they price their properties to compete with new developments, which tend to be relatively expensive due to still-high building input costs.

“However, many existing homeowners are calculating that moving would cost them more – and disrupt their lives more – than altering their own properties to suit their requirements. Many are also put off selling and buying another home by the thought of having to apply for a new home loan and the likelihood of having to pay a substantial cash deposit as is now most often the case.”

Consequently, she says, many older homes in Polokwane are undergoing extensive alterations and additions, much to the delight of the local building industry.

“And another trend that is starting to emerge strongly is the subdivision of larger properties to provide new stands which owners then sell to developers or use themselves to build duets and townhouses for sale or to rent.

“The low initial land and infrastructure costs means that these units can be priced very competitively while still enabling owners to extract considerable additional value from their original properties.”

However, says Van der Merwe, homeowners who have plans to alter their homes or build new units for sale on a subdivided stand still need to be very careful not to overcapitalise or over-price. “Housing demand here falls off rapidly above the R1m mark, and our average selling price at the moment is still around R750 000, so homeowners should be sure to get expert advice from a reputable agent who is knowledgeable about their area before starting any major project.”

Article by: www.realnet.co.za