In the area 1 – Johannesburg (Western areas)
Gavin Bouwer, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX 2000 which services the western and north western suburbs of Johannesburg, says that sales volumes in 2010 have shown a 40% to 50% increase over the same period last year, even though prices have remained depressed, and in some instances even dropped.

Sales results on a national level have also been excellent, according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. Goslett says that the company’s sales figures have shown a dramatic increase over the last two months, with May 2010 results up 37% on the same period last year, while June 2010 figures are 9% up on May. Goslett says that these figures are especially significant considering that winter is not traditionally a strong sales period in South Africa.

Bouwer has a range of properties available from entry-level sectional title units to homes situated in prestigious golf estates and security complexes. He says entry level units start at about R300 000 while older houses in Florida, Maraisburg, Triomf and Newlands that require some attention sell from about R600 000.

Up-market, older homes that are situated on larger stands in the areas of Florida Park, Florida Hills and Floracliffe range from R1m to R3m and even more. The same applies to Constantia Kloof, Kloofendal, Ontdekkers Park, Honey Hill and Horizon Extension. “All these suburbs have view-site sections on the ridges which command higher prices, depending on age, stages of renovation and the like,” says Bouwer.

Mid range to up-market properties situated slightly further west in Helderkruin, Wilro Park, Roodekrans and into Krugersdorp’s northern suburbs start selling from around R800 000. Bouwer says that more modern suburbs lie in the north-western region which includes Strubens Valley, Allens Nek, Wilgeheuwel, Ruimsig, Honedew Ridge and Radiokop. In these areas, he says, there are a variety of sectional-title units available from two-bedroom homes with one bathroom that sell for approximately R500 000 to free standing townhouses with three bedrooms and a double garage that sell from R800 000 upwards. Randpark Ridge, Sundowner and Northwold and surrounds also offer a variety of homes more or less within the same price ranges as above.

“Northcliff, Fairlands, Blackheath and surrounds are generally more expensive through the range of property types,” says Bouwer. “They offer easy access to the highway, and educational facilities along with a range of amenities and businesses are also easily accessible.“

Bouwer says Fairlands and Northcliff have seen a prevalence of sub-divisions and rezoning, due to the fact that properties in these areas were placed on large stands. “Many Fairlands stands now accommodate up to six up-market townhouses. However, the council’s lack of being able to guarantee electrical connections for probably the next two to three years has put a damper on further developments of this nature for the time being.”

Renovations have become very popular as the cost of selling and relocating has become very high. “Families that are settled and happy in the area see renovating as a viable alternative even adding a cottage or flatlett as an income-producing possibility, or with the aim of housing aging parents or young adult family members,” he says.

Bouwer notes that the costs of maintaining large properties with swimming pools etc, especially with the council’s exorbitant rates and service fees, has necessitated many families to downsize which in turn has created a good demand for quality cluster homes and similar properties in developments.

“Going forward I foresee a steady market with the oversupply being taken up, eventually leading to stable prices. I anticipate a moderate value growth of between 3%-5%,” Bouwer concludes.

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