Mitchells Plain home prices now back at boom levels

Residential property prices in Mitchells Plain have recovered handsomely and are now back at levels last seen at the height of the property boom in 2007.

But in spite of this recovery, says Astrid Smith de Gruchy, owner of leading local agency RealNet Select, property in Mitchells Plain still offers excellent value.

"There is a wide variety of homes at around the R400 000 level and we are seeing a quick turnaround in sales - most homes sell within a month if the price is right," she says.

Homes available at around R400 000 include older and bigger units in Portland and Westridge, two-bedroom starter units in the more upmarket Standfontein area, as well as 55sqm units in the new development node of Weltevreden Valley.

Indeed Weltevreden Valley, says Smith de Gruchy, is fast becoming the area of choice thanks to its central position and proximity to the main road and shopping mall.

Around 70% of buyers in Mitchells Plain, she notes, are new entrants to the property market, and a fair percentage of them are older couples investing in their own homes for the first time.

"About 90% of our buyers require 100% bonds and the banks are currently responding very favourably to applications for such home loans, which indicates that they see underlying value in Mitchells Plain properties.

"However, around 40% of bond applications are still denied due to the poor credit records of prospective buyers. The local market thus shows future promise as consumers who pay off outstanding debts and clear their credit records are likely to enter the market."

She adds that Mitchells Plain, which was established as a council housing scheme, has been transformed as private ownership has become the norm. Owners have been renovating and extending homes and some very good bargains are to be had at the upper end of the market. She explains that the price ceiling in older parts of the suburb is around the R600 000 mark, and that sellers who have over-capitalised their properties are forced to price their homes in this range.

"Some very comfortable homes with four bedrooms and smart entertainment areas are thus marketed at this price level," she says.

Prices in the more upmarket Strandfontein, however, reach levels of up to R800 000. The cheapest properties in Mitchells Plain start at around R250 000 for three-bedroom units of about 80sqm. Smith de Gruchy says such units are typically in areas where unemployment remains high and where little upgrading is evident.

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