In the area 1 – Alberton
Rental demand rockets in Alberton

Rental demand in Alberton is outstripping supply as prospective homebuyers continue to be turned away by the banks.

So says Ronell van Niekerk, principal of the local Chas Everitt International franchise, who notes that any type of rental property priced at R5000pm or less is being snapped up as soon as it comes on to the market.

“Although the interest is there, we are finding that most first-time buyers just can’t get bonds at the moment – even if they can afford the monthly repayments – because they do not have the cash lump sums needed for the hefty deposits being demanded by the banks.

“This leaves them with little alternative but to rent, and this is creating strong demand for flats and townhouses especially, but also smaller houses for those who need a bit of garden for young children or pets.”

Rentals in the town vary between R3500pm for flats and R10 000pm for cluster homes. Suburban house rentals start at R4000pm for older homes with one bathroom and range up to about R8000pm for newer, three-bedroom homes with two bathrooms. There are also executive homes to let for around R14 000pm in Meyersdal but there is much less demand for this type of property.

Van Niekerk says that in the light of the strong rental demand, investors with cash to spend are “prowling around” for bargain properties that they can spruce up and then rent out. “They are also attending sheriff’s auctions where they can pick up insolvent properties for really good prices.”

Such investors, she notes, are also aware that the supply of homes for sale is dwindling as owners “dig in” for the long haul and decide to stay put until they can possibly realise a better price for their property.

“And at the same time, new development in the town has practically stopped, not only because of the economic downturn but because Alberton now has very little space available for such projects.”

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