Property Is Hot in Gauteng

So far 2015 has been a good year for the residential property market in most urban areas with the most common complaint among agents being the lack of stock to sell. “Since January we’ve seen a 38% increase in turnover year-on-year which has exceeded our expectations”, says Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog Property Group.
A quick look at three main areas in Gauteng: Roodepoort, Johannesburg South and Johannesburg North East indicates that most of the demand is currently in the R3 million and under market.
Property flying in Roodepoort
“In our area properties ranging from R800 000 to R1.6 million are selling quickly”, says Johan van Schalkwyk, Principal of Leapfrog Roodepoort explaining that “we’re finding that buyers are looking more at the price than at the property as people struggle to cope with increased daily expenses such as having to pay higher electricity bills and e-tolls”.
Currently the more ‘affordable’ areas such as Wilgeheuwel and Weltevreden Park are in high demand with properties closest to the highway being the most sought after. Good news for buyers is that developments are booming in the area with Johan stating that developers are now fighting for land that already has services installed.  “The developers are not focussing on the high end markets but more first time homebuyers with property prices ranging between R500,000 and R900,000”.
All of this development has also led to the building of new public schools in Wilgeheuwel which didn’t previously have any, increasing the area’s popularity with young families.
Van Schalkwyk’s advice to buyers? “Do your homework and know what you can afford so that if you see a property you like you can make an offer immediately. Homes within the lower end of the market are selling quickly and many a buyer has lost out to a prepared rival buyer”.
The South is growing
Brian Rogers, Agent Support Manager at Leapfrog JHB South reports that the under R2 million property segment is also experiencing the most demand in the south – something he credits to the fact that a number of the buyers are new entrants to the market and can’t afford anything more expensive.
“At the moment I would say that approximately 30% of buyers are purchasing sectional title units while the remaining 70% are going for free standing properties”, says Rogers. Popular areas include Glenvista, Bassonia and Winchester Hills while there is still some interest in Linmeyer, Oakdene and Rosettenville. Brian points out that there are numerous developments underway in the south and that property prices in certain areas have doubled in the last decade.
“My advice to buyers would be to look at numerous properties prior to making a decision as there are a lot of properties in the current market and, most importantly to consult with a qualified and professional estate agent”.
Smaller properties in demand in the North East
Depending on the area, properties in the R1 million to R3 million price bracket are most in demand in Johannesburg North East. Michelle Cohen, Principal of Leapfrog Johannesburg NE points out that most buyers are going for smaller, more manageable properties – whether they are sectional title or free standing. “We’re certainly finding that buyers are taking a much closer look at levies, rates and home owner’s association fees before signing”, Michelle elaborates.
Cohen notes that even slightly pricier properties (i.e above R3.5 million) are selling within three months and that properties that don’t sell within that time frame are generally overpriced.
“My best advice to buyers would be to get pre-qualified for a home loan so that they know beforehand what offer they could make. Properties are not staying on the market long and buyers need to come prepared”, says Michelle.
Large areas of Johannesburg are experiencing stock shortages but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a seller’s market. Buyers are educated and won’t pay for an overpriced property. On the other hand it would seem that buyers can’t afford to hesitate too much either as what is on the market (and priced correctly) is selling.

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