What buyers are looking for

While security is a top priority that has a major influence on home buying decisions, there are various other aspects that are having an impact on buyer’s choices in the Western Cape, says Charles Haigh, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Elite, with office in Plumstead and Tokai.
“We have found that price and cost of purchase has become a driving force in the property market in the Western Cape. Other homebuyer considerations include proximity to their place of work and convenience. With the shrinking market we face in terms of the availability of land, along with the rising cost of living, buyers are opting for homes that offer a convenient lifestyle, living within proximity to all the amenities they require,” says Haigh. “There also seems to be more and more searches for lifestyle property purchases where the size of the plots has become more prevalent, particularly in the Northern suburbs.”
Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that convenience is a highly valued commodity in today’s modern age. “This is not an aspect that is confined to buyers within the Western Cape, but is a trend seen throughout the country. Buyers generally want to be reasonably close to their office, shopping centres, schools and medical facilities,” says Goslett.

According to Haigh when it comes to a home’s layout and floor plan, buyer’s preference is largely based on the location, position and type of property. While those living in flats and upmarket apartments tend to want more open-plan living because they can utilise the space as they see fit, buyers purchasing freestanding homes in suburban areas opt for homes with a well thought floor plan that has excellent flow.
When it comes to which feature or room in the home carries the most weight in the decision making process, Haigh says that this depends on the buyers individuals needs and life stage. “While some buyers prefer homes that lend themselves to entertaining, others want a lock-up-and-go property that does not restrict their lifestyle in any way. Garden lovers would place a great deal of value of the size of the garden, while other buyers shun having a garden because of the cost of upkeep and lack of time to maintain it. Depending on the buyer anything can be an important feature from a garage to the size of the lounge area or whether the home has a dining room. It varies greatly from one buyer to the next depending on their specific needs and wants,” Haigh explains.
He notes that while it is said that kitchens and bathrooms often sell a home, this is only true if they are aligned with the overall appeal of the home. “There needs to be a good balance, buying a home purely based on the kitchen and a bathroom is like buying a Ferrari and not having a garage – it is out of kilter. A well-appointed kitchen and modern bathroom rank highly on buyers’ lists, but if this is not the case there could be other features of the home that are attractive and therefore the buyers would not place as much emphasis on the lack of a good kitchen and bathroom,” says Haigh.
He adds that home prices in the Western Cape are performing well with property prices showing a year-on-year increase of around 12% when compared to 2015. “Buyers are very aware of the fact that home prices are climbing, which is pushing up demand and encouraging them to make quick buying decisions. Buyers don’t want to sit on the sidelines and watch as property prices become progressively more expensive. The fear of losing out on a property has become a catalyst for a faster turnaround time for property sales in the Western Cape,” Haigh concludes.

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