Wellington property market starting to pick up

Very seldom in the Rawson Property Group’s 31 year history has a new franchise taken off as fast their Wellington franchise, which was established in January this year – and where the franchisee, Tertius Joubert, has sold three or more homes per month from the outset.

This, says Wayne Albutt, the Rawson Property Group’s Regional Sales Manager for the Western Cape, should tell property analysts not just how suited to the job Joubert obviously is, but also something about the popularity and demand for Wellington property, where, he says, the market is alive and improving month-by-month.

“As yet,” says Joubert, “the recovery is not that evident in the upper brackets but there are a few buyers looking for R2 million to R2,5 million homes. The recovery is, however, very noticeable in the R800,000 to R1,4 million bracket. Here, any correctly priced home coming onto the market is sold within 60 days.”

Sales, he adds, are facilitated by the fact that today’s buyers are far better informed on how to qualify for bonds but there are still many glaring inconsistencies in the way banks assess applicants and award bonds and in his opinion too many good risk potential clients are turned away for inadequate reasons.

Wellington, says Joubert, attracts buyers because of its peaceful, settled, semi-rural atmosphere, its good schools and its superb outdoor facilities – with mountains on the doorstep, he says, this is a paradise for hikers, mountain bikers, canoeists and all outdoor lovers. Golfers, in particular, are well catered for with several international standard courses within easy driving distance.

“What, however, has made all the difference to the residents of Wellington in the last ten or 15 years,” he says, “is the fact that today’s good roads make it possible to work in and commute to surrounding areas, such as the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, Cape Town itself, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. Some two-thirds of local people do not, in fact, work in Wellington – they travel daily to their worksites and are quite happy to do so.”

With the demand being so good (in the price bracket mentioned), stock shortages, says Joubert, have become a problem. The good news, however, is that new developments are now being launched and the Rawson Property Group have the sole mandate for the first of these, which will be 16 houses in a security estate to be known as La Madeleine. Each of these will be on a plot of 350 m2 to 400 m2 in size and they will have two or three bedrooms. The prices will vary between R950,000 to R1,4 million – exactly right for today’s market.

Another far bigger scheme is also about to come out of the pipeline and here the Rawson Property Group’s Wellington franchise will share the mandate with another estate agency.

“The return of developers to Wellington,” says Joubert, “is a very welcome trend. In 2009 to 2011 there were absolutely no new houses coming onto the market.”

Asked to select three properties which he would recommend to any buyer planning to move to Wellington, Joubert listed:

·         A 90 m2 Cape Dutch style home with a thatched roof, white walls and straight-line gables. Sited in a security village, this home is priced at R995,000. It has three bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen, tiled floors, an alarm system and computerized irrigation in the small garden.

·         A similar but larger freestanding home, again with a thatched roof, white plastered walls and small pane windows. This home has three bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen, a cosy living area with a fireplace and it offers its occupants stunning views of the mountains and vineyards. A very attractive feature is a spiral staircase leading to the upper floor. The finishes include black granite tops and wood fronted cupboards in the kitchen. The fireplace is freestanding. The price here is R1,250,000, which, says Joubert, is probably 50% less than would be paid for such a home in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town.

·         A R1,295,000 home in tip-top condition. This home, unlike most in Wellington, has a Tuscan look with ochre coloured walls and red tiles. It has spacious open-plan living areas, a Jetmaster, a modern kitchen and a covered patio with a braai. The erf size is 527 m2 and the floor area is 185 m2. This home also benefits from being in the Ranzedale Security Estate.

“The standard of finishes,” says Joubert, “has to be seen to be fully appreciated. Extensive use of high-quality wood has been used on many of the fitted cupboards, counter tops and the like and this, along with laminated flooring, gives the home a very upmarket appearance. Again, a home of this kind would probably cost at least double and possibly three times this price if it was in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town.”

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