Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project impacts property prices

The proposed Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project tolls will have significant impact on where buyers will choose to purchase property in future, according to a survey conducted by ooba, South Africa's leading bond originator.

In the survey, which was conducted on ooba's website, 80% of respondents said that they will select the location of their next property taking into consideration the location of Gauteng's new toll roads. Of the remainder of the respondents, 13.12% said they would not be influenced, and 6.88% said they weren't aware of the tolls.

“This significant majority is not unexpected if you take into consideration that the proposed tolls could increase an individual's monthly expenditure by as much as R1 000*,” says  Kevin Mountjoy, national sales manager at ooba. “The most road travel that any individual undertakes is between their office and their home, so naturally this added cost will influence where people want to live.”

The flow of traffic in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria is changing significantly, with increased congestion, the Gautrain, its supporting public transport infrastructure and the proposed tolls all playing a part. These new factors mean that the considerations for people buying property today are quite different from what they were ten years ago.

While the improving public transport infrastructure will provide an alternative for those who want to avoid the increasingly congested roads – especially around commercial hubs – this is not yet advanced or widespread enough to offer a realistic solution for the majority of road users, meaning that many people will still be subject to the tolls when they come into effect.
As a result, the costs of the tolls and the likelihood of being caught in traffic are key factors that homebuyers should be giving thought to when considering a new property. “Obviously nobody wants to waste precious time in traffic, but people often don't give this due consideration when looking for a home, given that most showdays are on a Sunday afternoon.”

He advises that people should look carefully at the areas in which they spend the most of their time to work out where and when they are likely to do most of their travelling. “Property buyers should take into account the location of commercial centres, schools and public transport systems when they buy property,” he says. “They should also look at where their family and close friends are located, as naturally they will be making those trips often as well.”

He also suggests that before making an offer on a house, potential buyers should drive the various routes that they will regularly take during rush hour and investigate the alternatives, to give themselves a sense of what they might be in for.

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