Top Bloemfontein agency joins Harcourts

The Harcourts estate agency group has added top Bloemfontein agency Bergkruin Properties to its growing list of franchises.
The agency, now trading under the name Harcourts City of Roses, has established itself as one of Bloemfontein's top real estate agencies, and has served the Bloemfontein property market and surrounding towns such as Brandfort, Trompsburg and Dewetsdorp, since 2001.
However, says franchise owner, Barry Spies, the time had come to join a national group with proven systems and a world-wide referral network. "Remaining competitive and successful as an independent agency in today's milieu necessitates outside expertise, especially related to increasingly complicated legislation and regulation, and I foresee that this will become more onerous for independents in future.”

This house in Bloemfontein’s sought-after Woodlands Hills Wildlife Estate is for sale through Harcourts City of Roses for R6,7m. Built on a 1700sqm stand it offers five ensuitebedrooms, four reception rooms plus a study, a bar, a reading room and a home cinema, as well as a spacious kitchen with scullery, pantry and linen room. Additional features include air conditioning, a solar heater and irrigation, and staff quarters, a large pool and four garages complete the offering.
As a former chairman of the Institute of Estate Agents in the Free State and Northern Cape region, he says, he has first-hand experience of just how much help real estate practitioners currently need when it comes to new regulations and laws pertaining to the industry.
"And by joining Harcourts with its comprehensive platform of services means that we will now have access to pertinent legal advice as well as a host of other services that will enable us to concentrate on our core business of giving our clients top service and our undivided attention," he says.
The Bloemfontein residential market is currently performing well, Spies says, with strong demand in newer suburbs such as Langenhoven Park in the west, where townhouses are selling well at an average price of just over R800 000,and homes priced from R1,2m and R1,7m are finding ready buyers.
“Homes in the southern suburbs, where prices are slightly lower, are also in demand, with lots of movement in the R900 000 to R1,3m price range for comfortable family homes with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and double garages. Entry-level prices in the south start at around R550 000 for semi-detached homes, while older homes with two bedrooms in Wilgehof are available from R650 000.”
Luxury homes in areas such as Pellissierand Fichardt Park that offer four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a study, a pool and a double garage as well as a large garden with security fencing sell at prices of up to R1,8m, he says.
In the city’s northern suburbs, units in the Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate are popular. The estate, comprised of 22 sectional title complexes, a lifestyle village with private hospital and 700 full-title homes, is set on 1000ha and is home to more than 23 types of small game. Two-bedroom units here are selling from R880 000 although home prices start from fromR2,2m and top properties are marketed at prices of up to R9m.
Spies says investors are also still targeting student accommodation. "It is, of course, a perennial market with higher turnover at the end of the academic year, and investors do make good returns. For example, bachelor units near campus that sell for around R200 000 achieve monthly rentals of just less than R2000 and levies are relatively low at around R500 a month.
"Large properties converted to student communes also offer excellent returns. For instance, we are currently marketing a property with six bedrooms, two bathrooms, a separate three-bedroom flat and a bachelor unit that earns a monthly rental income of R22 000, for R1,58m."

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