Cash buyers drive luxury market in Midlands

Despite the challenging economic conditions surrounding the property market over the past year, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Midlands, Pelham Henwood, says that older cash buyers are still driving much of the movement in the luxury home market in their areas of operation.

Henwood says that while the market has definitely slowed this year, especially from August, mature buyers who do not require bonds have been helping the local market in Howick to consistently tick over. “We have seen a number of buyers over the age of 65 years old coming to the area looking for a place to retire. Many are moving here from large metropolitan areas and want a change of pace from busy city life.  These buyers are generally upper-income, ex-executives who have the equity to purchase a retirement home without the assistance of a bank,” he says.

According to Henwood, these mature buyers are purchasing homes that range in price from around R2.5 million to R4.5 million. He adds that homes that are listed at the R2 million mark are snapped up almost immediately after they are listed. “This buyer demographic is generally looking for homes within secure gated developments with 24 hours guards. They want lifestyle retirement estates that offer community life and engagement with others within the estate, along with organised quality entertainment, sporting facilities and frail care. The estate being pet-friendly is also a prerequisite for many of these buyers,” says Henwood.

He notes that there are several aspects that have made Howick so popular among the older generation buyers. “Apart from the out-of-town feel, there is also a number of activities available for people to do in the area such as visit the many historical landmarks, take hikes or play golf. Surrounded by forests, rivers, dams and waterfalls, the area offers a more laid-back way of life, while still providing all the amenities and comforts one would need such as fine dining and excellent shopping facilities,” says Henwood.

Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, says that although the luxury home market has slowed in recent years in many parts of the country, there are sought-after nodes that continually allure buyers due to the lifestyle and security offerings they provide - the Howick is one such area.

Sales Associate from RE/MAX Midlands, Cindy Bro, says that their office has recently listed luxury retirement home in a safe game estate called Amber Ridge Estate for R4.75 million. She adds that the large two-bedroom home features panoramic views of the game area and mountains. Other features include white porcelain flooring, imported Italian fittings, a cosy Morso fireplace and double garage. The home is fully fenced with a manicured garden on a prime site at the end of a lane.  The pet-friendly estate features a dog park, auditorium, frail-care facilities, heated swimming pools, tennis courts, bowls and 24-hour security guards. This is in addition to the copious birdlife and wildlife that can be spotted in and around the estate.

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