Heavily discounted prices at Langebaan make any buy here now a bargain

Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, was quoted recently saying that at no stage in the last 20 years have coastal and holiday properties been pitched at prices so much below the average.  These, he said, are typically 30 to 50% under the previous boom era levels – and could remain there for a few more months.

This statement was recently confirmed by Emil Weiss, franchisee for Rawson Properties Langebaan, who added that, for the first time in over two years, buyer interest is once again on the increase.

“Judging by the responses to our advertising and the number of walk-in enquiries we are now experiencing, I am confident that we will achieve 20sales before the end of this month – and, believe me, many homes or plots for sale in Langebaan today can be had at an exceptionally good price.”

On his stock list, said Weiss, he has some 300 vacant stands, the majority of which were bought by buyers when the economy was on a roll but which are now being offloaded.  In some cases, he said, erven bought at ± R300,000 have re-sold for as little as R100,000 – and his agency still has a few where the asking price is as low as R150,000.  In general, said Weiss, the majority of sales that are taking place are below R250,000, with the average sale now pitched at around R180,000.

Particularly good value here, he said, are the plots in the well-protected Langebaan Golf Estate where, using one of the estate’s approved builders, buyers can erect a new home priced one third lower than those of SA’s big city builders. This means that, observing the estate’s ruling that no home can be smaller than 175 m2, it is possible to get a brand new two bedroom house for under R1 million.

Asked if the lagoon or beach fronting erven have also been discounted, Weiss said that prices here can still be high, but are also well off their previous peaks.

In the housing (rather than the plot) market, said Weiss, buyers are now showing a new interest, with the vast majority expecting to buy in the R800,000 to R1,5 million bracket – where the bulk of Rawson Properties’ stock is.

“By way of contrast Rawson Properties do,” said Weiss, “have several homes which fall into the criteria demanded by the discerning international market and these carry price tags of up to R9 million.  However, although I foresee the situation changing, at this stage interest in luxury properties is at a very low level.”

A factor which will increasingly push up property prices in Langebaan, said Weiss, is that official government recognition has been given to the Saldanha Industrial Development Zone.  This is now near Namakwa Sands and Saldanha Steel.  Already, he said, R30 million in sales has been notched up and more sales are in the offing.

Also likely to boost prices, said Weiss, is Namakwa Sands’ discovery of the world’s largest deposits of high value minerals (such as titanium) at Bitterfontein.  These ores (and the beneficiated products derived from them) will be exported through the Saldanha harbour and this will add greatly to the area’s prosperity.

Although sales have only recently picked up at Langebaan, the rental market, said Weiss, has been ‘very satisfactory’ for years now.  This, he said, means that buy-to-let investors should be placing this area high on their priority list.  Homes valued at under R1 million are almost always able to achieve 5 to 7%returns from the day of occupation and it has been shown time and again that new arrivals, especially those moving to Langebaan for work in the steadily growing industries in the area, prefer to rent for the first six to 18 months before making a decision to buy.

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