Entry-level homebuyers flock to Midrand

The entry-level sector of Midrand’s property market is experiencing a spate of activity, with demand outstripping supply.

So says Beulah Thomas, principal of local leading agency Homenet/ Harcourts Midrand, who says much of the activity is stemming from buyers seeking to upgrade from the surrounding townships, particularly Thembisa.

Typically these buyers are enquiring about one and two-bedroom flats priced at between R350 000 and R500 000. Unfortunately, however, the current bank lending restrictions mean that such residences are often being “sold” three or four times before a transaction can actually be concluded.

Singles looking to be close to their place of work, families relocating from Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal and couples seeking first homes are adding to the demand at the lower end of the market.

Many anticipate a significant cut in their travel expenses once the Gautrain becomes operational and are thus aiming to purchase property close to the Midrand station, says Thomas.

However, she notes, there is a shortage of homes priced at around R650 000, because many developments have been put on hold due to a lack of electricity supply approvals. In fact only the Gautrain development and the Zonkisizwe retail and commercial development at the Gautrain terminus are still going ahead.

Consequently, rental demand has also spiked. At present one-bedroom garden cottages in Midrand are letting for around R3000pm and three-bedroom homes are letting for around R8000pm.

Meanwhile, the top end of the local market has remained relatively unaffected by the property downturn, says Thomas. For instance, four-bedroom homes in the Summerset and Carlswald estates are moving reasonably well at prices between R4m and R5m – with many sales being to cash buyers.