Downscaling leads to a strong demand for “cute” cottages

Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank, who has regularly identified trends in the property industry, told her agents this week that they must capitalise on a new trend – downscaling.

“With the realities of the property market at last accepted far more widely,” she said, “we are seeing a far greater willingness to move into smaller homes – especially if they are well finished and have charm.”

Particularly sought after now, said Steward, will be attractive, secure suburban cottages in which the fittings and features are upmarket but the block space possibly less than half what the buyer previously regarded as appropriate.

Typical of such a house, said Steward, is a Wynberg cottage on a 466m2 plot.

The home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and an attractive timber decked patio leading into a small but leafy garden with established shrubs. This also has a “natural” saltwater pool, partially fed by an ornate sculpted fountain.

“At R2 275 000, this is exactly the sort of home that is now in great demand,” said Steward, “and APKF is looking hard to find more of them.”

One effect of the downscaling, she added, is that buyers are coming up with bigger deposits, sometimes 20 to 30% of the sales price. This, she said, has fitted in with the banks’ new attitude towards loans, which is far more conservative.

Another effect of the current scenario, she said, is that older buyers are continuing to work in full time employment beyond the usual retiring age – and such buyers are often also downscaling.

Aticle by: