Affordable property up, down south
13 February 2012
The demand for affordable homes continues to drive the property market recovery in Johannesburg?s southern suburbs, says Fanie Viljoen, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Superior, which operates in these neighbourhoods. ?We have experienced more and more buyers in our areas that are looking for property priced around the R1 million mark. In the environment in which we operate, the highest demand is for properties priced between R800 000 and R1,3 million. The simple reason behind this is affordability, which in some cases is taking precedence over security. It seems that the popularity of sectional title units has seen a decline, with buyers rather opting for affordable free-standing homes, which can often provide more value for money. People are looking for middle-class family homes that have space, but that don?t break the bank,? says Viljoen. Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that those who can qualify for finance will be able to find many good properties that offer value for money in the current market. He notes the financial institutions have relaxed their lending criteria marginally and that now around 50% of all bond applications are being approved. However, he says that while affordability remains crucial, the interest rate, which was last this low 39 years ago, coupled with a good selection of well-priced homes on the market, make it an ideal time to invest in property. ?While it is expected that house price growth will remain flat this year, we expect to see an increase in activity in homes priced between R700?000 and R1-million, which we also foresee will reflect the biggest value increase this year due to the demand for properties within this category.? According to Viljoen, buyers across the board in the southern suburbs are generally looking for three-bedroom family homes with features such as a double lock-up garage and staff accommodation. Stands in these areas vary in size from 800m2 to 1200m2, and offer the buyer good value for money. He says that most of the recent buyers in the southern suburbs have been under 35 years old, which points to the fact that the young family buyers will continue to make their presence felt in the market. Johannesburg?s southern suburbs have seen considerable development over the last few years due to an influx of investment. A large number of new developments have been built in a number of the areas and many older houses have been renovated, which means that the number of affordable properties available to buyers has grown steadily.? The majority of the suburbs market stock is freehold homes, which make up over 65% of the homes available, while the remainder is made of sectional scheme properties. One of the properties being marketed by RE/MAX Superior is an R880 000 home situated in The Hill.? This neat and well-maintained property offers three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with various other features including a sunroom, double tandem carport, storeroom, manicured garden, remote gates and electric fence, plus a one-bedroom cottage with a bathroom, kitchenette and lounge. For more information about this property or others in Johannesburg?s southern suburbs contact sale associate Edwin Wiggins of RE/MAX Superior on 083 234 9865 / 011 432 3911.