Pietermaritzburg on 2009-04-24"EN-ZA" cleaned="font-size:11.0pt; color:windowtext;mso-ansi-language:EN-ZA" xml:lang="EN-ZA">Pietermaritzburg on 2009-04-24" />
In the area 3 – Pietermaritzburg

Properties in Pietermaritzburg have come down in price but many potential buyers are unable to take advantage of the price cuts due to strict bank lending protocols.

So says Myandra Chetty, principal of leading local agency Homenet East who believes that the lending protocols should be re-visited, as many buyers are now “falling through the cracks” unnecessarily.

Currently, the majority of Pietermaritzburg properties are priced at between R500 000 and R800 000, he says, but banks are demanding deposits as large as 20% or 30%, which most buyers simply do not have in cash.

The other side of the coin is that repossessions and foreclosures have lately increased quite dramatically in Pietermaritzburg, especially among rural homeowners who do not understand the bank correspondence they receive when they default on their bonds. “Consequently, they don’t approach the banks to negotiate terms or request an extension and they end up losing their homes.”

However, says Chetty, the market has not come to a complete standstill. Some sales are still taking place, especially in Northdale where properties are priced at around R450 000. Originally council homes, these properties are basic and include two or three bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom.

The suburbs of Scottsville and Hayfields are also faring fairly well thanks largely to their proximity to the university. There are also a number of sectional title developments in these areas with homes on sale for around R495 000.

In addition, the rental sector of the market is positively buoyant at present, with rentals ranging between R1500pm and R4000pm, Chetty says. What is more, a strong renovation trend has emerged as many homeowners opt to upgrade their existing properties rather than move, and this is benefiting many suppliers and service companies.

Article by: www.homenet.co.za