It’s a Seller’s Market - for some - in Pretoria

While the property market has been doing well in most metropolitan areas throughout the start of 2015 it would seem that Pretoria in particular is booming.

Joanie la Grange from Leapfrog Property Group in Pretoria, notes that agent’s have lists of prospective buyers lined up waiting for properties. “We’re seeing a lot of movement – especially up to R 3 million. If a property of R1 million or less (normally sectional title properties in this range) comes on the market they sell within days”, explains la Grange. Supporting this is the fact that Leapfrog sales in the area are up 20% year on year for January and February.
It’s hardly surprising as the Pretoria residential market is being fed by buyers from both Johannesburg and Midrand as well as from further afield. La Grange also believes that more people now have access to housing subsidies and that developers are regaining their taste for new projects.
The city has seen a lot of property growth in recent years, the Midstream development in Centurion being one of the most notable.  Other areas that are offering good value for money and high demand are Pretoria
East and North.
Secure Estates Dominate in Pretoria East

Silvana Dos Reis Marques from Leapfrog Pretoria East (which includes Brooklyn, Groenkloof, Garsfontein, Hatfield and Lynnwood) concurs with the market segment with prices ranging from R1.6 to R3.5 million and is finding that free standing properties situated within secure estates are the most popular. In fact her advice to buyers is not to hesitate making an offer quickly as competitively priced homes that are priced competitively are selling fast.
Free Standing Properties in Demand in Pretoria North

Ilanga Lovell, Principal of Leapfrog Magalies-Moot-Pretoria North believes that free standing properties are so sought after as people between the ages of 28 and 45 are looking for space to raise their families. “In the Montana area security estates are hugely popular with prices ranging from R2.5 to R3 million whereas properties in Moot and Pretoria North are going for around R800 000 to R1.4 million”, says Lovell. She believes that buyers prefer these areas as many of them commute and enjoy the easy access to the city and the N1, as well as the fact that there are several good schools and of course due to the more reasonable property prices (as compared to Pretoria East and Centurion).
Centurion Can’t Keep Up

Area specialist Ansie Retief has worked in Centurion for years and is especially active in the Midstream Estate. She’s finding that “free standing properties priced between R2.5 and R3 million are selling literally within days of listing”. She shares that demand is high and there’s little stock to choose from. “My advice to sellers would be to select an estate agent carefully and afford a sole mandate in an endeavour to achieve the highest possible price. With possible interest rate hikes to come now is the best time to sell because the market will definitely be affected by an increase in lending rates”. 
Joanie also counsels sellers to make the most of the market by ensuring that they have approved municipal plans on their properties; including pools, lapas and additions as the banks are increasingly making this a condition in granting of a home loan.   
There’s good news for buyers too though as the Midstream Estate has a good balance of re-sales and building packages with the developer regularly making more land available for expansion.”
What’s a Buyer to Do?

Joanie la Grange has good advice for buyers; “Do your homework in terms of what you want to buy and where you want to buy.  Sort out your finances – make sure that there aren’t any ‘surprises’ on your credit record.  Get an expert to pre-approve you in terms of a home loan, make sure about the bank’s lending criteria and where you fit in.  Make sure that you work with a reputable, qualified estate agent.  If you buy a property directly from a seller, make sure that the price is not inflated.  Often sellers prefer to sell their properties themselves, because they didn’t want to accept the estate agent’s advice on the correct price, resulting in a too high marketing price”.

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