It’s all about the right price
FIGURES supplied by The Knowledge Factory’s SA Property Transfer Guide (SAPTG) are clearly indicative that the top-fairing areas with the highest number of sales from January this year up until the end of October are mainly those with properties for sale under the R600000 mark. This clearly reflects the current buyer’s search for value.

In the top 10 list nationwide, fairly predictably, Cape Town central was ranked first, selling a whopping 1767 properties at an average price of R505223. Parklands in the Western Cape came second — selling 1693 properties in the area at an average price of R508098. With 1171 properties having been sold, the Pretoria area of Sunnyside was third, with the average sale amounting to R182695. Protea Glen in Gauteng was fourth, with 999 properties being sold at a low average of R79041 and in a close fifth place, KwaZulu-Natal’s area of Bulwer sold 989 properties at an average of R406922 each.

In an interesting comparison with value as the measurement tool as opposed to number of sales, out of all the suburbs and towns served by the Homenet estate agency group, Struisbaai near Hermanus in the Western Cape has been ranked as the top performer for this year, having shown the highest increase in average home price.

The group’s analysis of sales shows that this popular coastal centre experienced a whopping 150% increase in average home prices this year to R500000.

Next on the list are Jeffreys Bay, near Port Elizabeth, where the average home price achieved jumped 108% to R700000, and Brackenfell in Cape Town, where the average price rose 107% to R900000.

In the SAPTG list only two areas with the average property selling price over R600000 were featured. These were both areas in Gauteng: namely Morningside, which came in sixth place — selling 887 properties with the average selling price of R1168 613; and Moreleta Park, which came seventh — selling 869 properties with the average sale amounting to R757349. The rapidly growing area of Wilgeheuwel in Roodepoort was ranked eighth, with 811 properties being sold at an average price of R446975. Lenasia South in Johannesburg came in ninth place, selling 784 properties at an average price of R113 981. Lastly, Langebaan in the Western Cape was placed tenth, selling 766 properties at an average price of R387 220.

Homenet further notes that according to their figures, Scottburgh on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast was ranked fourth, with a 100% value increase to R900000. Fifth place was shared by ever-popular Hermanus and the little Mpumalanga town of Kriel, each with a 92% increase in average price achieved.

Homenet MD David Rogers says: “The figures are only part of the story and of course in the second half of this year, the market has cooled somewhat.

“But within those limitations the statistics do shed light on overall market trends in these areas and provide points of reference for both buyers and sellers.”

Other areas that performed well were Primrose and Port Elizabeth (both 83%) and Dundee in KZN, Nelspruit and Bredasdorp (all at 82%).

It’s interesting to note, says Rogers, that three of the five top performers were coastal towns, underlining the perennial appeal of these areas for holiday home and retirement buyers.

However, different drivers had a significant impact on other markets. Kriel, for example, was boosted by the de-mothballing of the nearby power station, while the appeal of Primrose and Brackenfell lies in their relative affordability.

Susan van Aswegen, of Sotheby’s International Realty, comments on the current buyer’s trend of pursuing value, especially with regards to the area of Parklands in which she operates: “Middle-class buyers can no longer afford prices closer to town. If you buy a house for R2m in the City Bowl, bond repayments generally cost around R20000 a month. Whereas a R1,3m house in Parklands will cost you around R13000 a month. I believe that affordability is going to drive the market over the next few years.”

Barak Geffen of Sotheby’s International Realty elaborates, saying: “The SAPTG statistics refer to those driving the market in these areas as the ‘Terracotta Terraces’ set. They are typically young, techno-savvy and approximately seven out of 10 of these youngsters own the homes they live in. Their homes are small but have generally been built in the past decade. This is the single, technikon-educated sector that comprises the highest percentage of employed people.”

He says that many of the most popular areas, such as Parklands and Weltevreden Park for example, are situated a mere 20 to 25 minutes from the main metropole areas, which means that there is still plenty of space for development and therefore new, affordable cluster homes are mushrooming.

Rogers, concludes: “If I were to take a stab at where the market will be in another year’s time, I would say there would not be too much change, with selected coastal areas remaining popular and inland areas driven by a variety of influences.”

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