Chas Everitt International flag hoisted in Rustenburg

Leading Rustenburg estate agency Propcor SA has just become the latest to convert to the growing Chas Everitt International brand.

“Our agency will now be part of a national group with more than 100 branches across South Arica,” says agency owner Eric de Wet, who has had a long career in property development, building and real estate.“And we are very happy with our decision, because Chas Everitt International espouses the same family values we do and on which we have built Propcor SA since 2005 into the biggest non-franchised agency in Rustenburg.   

“At the same time, the group is very advanced in the use of business technology and online marketing and this will enable us to expand our own horizons and to give potential buyers all over the country rapid access to information about Rustenburg properties for sale and to let.”

In addition, he notes, Chas Everitt International has agreements with all the major banks regarding their distressed property programmes –“which means that we will not only be able to assist sellers that need help dealing with financially challenging times, but also be able to offer our buyers a selection of quality homes at good prices.

“This is critical at the moment, because although Rustenburg is the fastest-growing town in SA in terms of new retail, commercial and infrastructure development, the residential market has taken a serious dip since the mine strikesand the massacre in the nearby village of Marikana.”

This slowdown, he explains,is not because of a lack of demand, which has always exceeded supply in Rustenburg and still does, whether you are looking to buy or to rent. “But the local market has had a big shock and people are scared. This has resulted in property owners being reluctant to put their homes on the market or to commit to long leases, with the overall effect being a serious shortage of stock.”

Also troubling at the moment, De Wet says, is the fact that banks are not onlyinsisting on large deposits in most cases, but also valuing properties and approving bonds according to “bank security value”, which does not necessarily co-incide with actual “market value”.

“We find they are often not prepared to lend as much as the prospective buyer is happy to pay, and with deposits already high, that usually means the homeowner has to lower his price if he really wants to sell. And quite a number decide at this point that they would then rather wait and see if the market improves.”

He is confident, however, that this situation will be short-lived. “Unusually for SA, the market here has constant impetus because most of the mines around Rustenburg give their employees a housing subsidy and encourage them to become homeowners.And unlike many towns, we do have a supply of affordable starter properties in the former townships at prices from R120 000 to R350 000.

“Then for buyers ready for the next level, the R450 000 to R1,1m price range, there are quite a number of new developments of flats and townhouses going up near the mall in Waterfall East, and existing homes for sale in East End and Geelhoutpark.”

Taking the next step, De Wet says, family buyers tend to prefer the “bo-dorp” precinct as well as the newer suburbs of Heuwelsig and Proteapark, while executives and professionals tend to opt for Cashan and Safari Park, where prices can go all the way up to about R15m. And the mines and the business that they generate keep new buyers coming.

“In short, the Rustenburg market has its own rhythm that does not necessarily co-incide with the national property trends. But as one of the biggest and best connected local estate agencies, we know how it works - and now that we are part of Chas Everitt International we can share that valuable knowledge with a much wider audience.”

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