New sparkle in Benoni market
Top schools, excellent retail and sporting facilities and a relaxed lifestyle in a well-run town have made Benoni the “jewel of the East Rand” and underpinned local housing demand.

Andre van der Merwe, who recently acquired the Chas Everitt International franchise in Benoni from long-time owner Patsy Pretorius, says: “One reason for the general stability of our residential market is that it offers wide range of properties to suit all types of potential buyers, from starter homes at around R400 000 to luxury homes in exclusive estates priced at up to R10m.

“Another big draw card is the fact that Benoni has a string of well-known private and public schools in its suburbs, such as St Dunstans College, Ashton College, Brandwag High and Benoni High. Indeed, many of the enquiries we get from out-of-town buyers are specifically for homes close to one or other of these schools.

“In addition, the town has excellent shopping facilities including Lakeside Mall and Northmead Square, three golf courses, the Rynfield Dam which caters for boating enthusiasts and the Homestead Lake in Farrarmere which has a sailing club.”

Van der Merwe, a lifelong resident of Benoni, says the strongest buying trends at the moment include the rejuvenation of older suburbs as young families looking for bigger homes move in and undertake extensive renovations; and considerable activity on the parts of investors and young buyers who are snapping up anything that looks like a bargain – “sometimes as quickly as within two weeks of properties being listed”.

Having established an accounting practice in Benoni in 1986, Van der Merwe soon branched out into the purchase, redevelopment and resale of commercial properties, gaining invaluable experience as a developer and landlord.

Then in 2001, he sold his shareholding in the accounting practice and turned to property full time. “And now the fact that I have an extensive network of business associates in Benoni and a keen sense of the local property sector makes the marketing of property the next logical move.

“Also carefully considered is my decision to acquire the Chas Everitt franchise which I believe will enable me to make the most of my local property knowledge and really put it to work on behalf of clients because of the group’s impressive array of marketing channels and its commitment to superior technologies that free up productive time by really simplifying the ‘back of house’ administration.”

Chas Everitt Franchising director Barry Davies says: “The East Rand is a key region for the group, and Benoni is a centre in which we are eager to expand our market share. Andre has a great track record in business, expertise in property through his years of investment and development as well as great energy and fresh thinking – I have no doubt he is going to make an impact and is a valuable addition to the Chas Everitt family.”

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