Great pricing driving recovery in Equestria

The number of home sales and enquiries by prospective homebuyers in Pretoria’s eastern suburbs has risen dramatically, pointing to a turnaround in the local property market.
“We have sold 17 properties in the past 12 weeks and the number of enquiries is very close to levels we experienced before the economic slump,” says Fransiska Schutte of the RealNet estate agency that serves Equestria, Wilgers, La Montagne, Lynnwood Ridge and Wapadrand.
She adds that investors have made a comeback and are typically targeting two-bedroom simplexes with a floor area of up to 90sqm. “It is notable that such buyers are making offers via the internet on properties they have not seen personally. These are pure business transactions by buyers who have done their homework and know what the rand price per square meter in a particular area or complex should be and can make quick, informed decisions,” she says.
“Investors are arguing that now is a good time to buy since they expect prices to start rising shortly. At the moment there is still ample stock but we do foresee that prices will improve as soon as existing units are taken up. Additionally, owners who are not under pressure to sell have started withdrawing their properties from the market if they deem valuations too low. This will lead to lower stock levels and consequent upward pressure on prices.”
At the same time, says Schutte, informed first buyers who realise that it’s bargain time are finding good value in the area. “For example, two-bedroom town houses of about 88sqm and with a garage, carport and private garden in Equestria can now be found for around R550 000 – a price that just a few years ago would have bought a stack unit.”
She adds that there is no doubt that banks’ willingness to once again offer 100% bonds has boosted demand for residential property. “However, buyers are price sensitive. After the difficult period of the past two years, most buyers are acutely aware of how easily they can burn their fingers.”
There was little activity in new developments in the area over the past two years, she says. However, a few developers, notably in the new hotspot of Willow Manor, were not cowed by the adverse economic conditions and have units to sell.
“Most of these units are of high quality and find favour with buyers who are currently also highly aware of quality issues around finishes and are increasingly refusing to even consider developments that do not match their expectations.”
Issued by RealNet

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