RE/MAX Suburb Trend Report – Bloemfontein

Poetically known as the ‘city of roses’ due to the abundance of the flower in the area, Bloemfontein was officially founded in 1846, and was originally used as a fort for the British army.

Area history

Poetically known as the ‘city of roses’ due to the abundance of the flower in the area, Bloemfontein was officially founded in 1846, and was originally used as a fort for the British army. Today it is the capital city of the Free State Province and is the judicial capital of the nation. It is one of three national capitals, with Cape Town as the legislative capital, and Pretoria, the administrative capital.

Area property information

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that properties in Bloemfontein offer value for money, and the spread of homes in different price categories caters to a wide range of buyers. He notes that the most expensive homes are naturally located in the prime areas and include a mix of older and more recently built homes.

Typically these homes usually include four bedrooms, a minimum of two bathrooms with separate guest toilet, a study, TV room, separate lounge and dining room. Goslett says that other features include a double garage with automated doors, a swimming pool, lapa, patio and a braai area and most of the homes feature upgraded kitchens and bathrooms. Selling between approximately R1,4m and R6m, these top-of-the-range homes often include a one- or two-bedroom granny flat, additional parking in the form of carports and excellent security features. In this price range, stand sizes measure anywhere between 1800m2 and 4000m2. It is estimated that the buyer split in this category is made up of 45% of buyers who are upgrading and 55% of buyers who were previously disadvantaged.

According to Goslett, entry-level homes, dependent on the area, would generally cost between approximately R600 000 and R725 000 and would usually consist of a two- or three-bedroom home with single bathroom, single garage, lounge / dining room.  He notes that buyers of middle-of-the-range homes are predominantly upgrading and make up approximately 40% of this market, while the other 60% of purchasers in this segment of the market are previously disadvantaged buyers. Here, homes would generally be set on stands measuring between 950m2 and 1500m2 and would feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a single or double garage and a swimming pool. These homes range in price from approximately R850 000 to R1 050 000.

Goslett says that there have been a few emerging trends in the Bloemfontein property market such as renovations, the erection of flatlets or second residences on stands and subdivisions.

According to Lightstone a property statistics and information provider, as many as 52.94% of recent buyers to the area are between the ages of 18 and 35 years old, while largest percentage of recent sellers are between 50 and 64 years old with the 65 years and older demographic following closely behind. This points to the fact that the average age of homeowners in the region is getting progressively younger. Currently, the property available in the area is made up of 91.26% sectional title units, while only 8.74% are freestanding homes.

Property price trends

Demand for property

Since the recession period, the property market in Bloemfontein has shown remarkable improvement and is expected to remain on its upward trend. According to Goslett, demand for sectional-title property in Bloemfontein has consistently proved to be relatively strong, however many buyers are still struggling to meet lending criteria and show the necessary affordability levels required for finance approval, much like other regions in the country.

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