In the area 3 – Bela Bela

Homebuyers in Bela Bela are steering clear of new estate developments and seeking out existing homes and apartments in the Limpopo town.

“Many new developments have sprung up around Bela Bela in the past few years as it became an increasingly popular holiday and weekend destination,” says Tjaart Oosthuizen, co-owner of the recently revamped local Aida franchise.

“But these projects aren’t attracting much interest at the moment. Most buyers here are currently ‘bargain hunting’ for existing homes – even if they need renovation - rather than new ones. They are well aware that new homes currently cost around 20% more than pre-owned properties, and also that they can pressurise sellers to accept low offers because of the oversupply of stock.”

However, he says, that oversupply is rapidly being absorbed now, with the help of the assisted sales programmes for distressed owners that are being run by some of the banks. “Buyers of properties in these programmes are being offered bonds of up to 100% and a 50% discount on legal fees. In addition, the banks are negotiating reserve prices on these properties that are often well-below market value, so such deals are very attractive to potential buyers.”

Meanwhile most of the development projects around the town have come to a virtual standstill and the fact that there is no new stock coming on to the market from this source is also helping to stabilise prices, which are currently back up at around pre-recession levels, Oosthuizen says.

“We are thus confident that the Bela Bela market is well into recovery and will see good growth over the next 12 to 18 months. Our decision to upgrade our office is in line with this – it is modern and efficient and represents a new beginning in an exciting new market phase.”

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