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Influences and pressures that are considered by most young home buyers today

Area knowledge – full familiarity with how the property market in his area operates – is absolutely essential for an estate agent to be really successful.

This being the case, certain colleagues of Schalk van der Merwe, co-franchisee for the Rawson Property Group’s Somerset West franchise, were interested to hear him define the influences and pressures which he believes affect today’s younger buyers in the Helderberg Basin.  Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, has remarked that what van der Merwe said actually applies to a very large segment of middle class property buyers today, again particularly those who are young in age.

The 21st century upwardly mobile younger couple, said van der Merwe, are usually both at work every day five days a week and often have work to do at night – even if they have small children.  They lead very busy lives and they do not want (in fact they do not have the time) to garden and maintain their properties.  Small water-wise maintenance-free gardens and homes are therefore seen as a big advantage.

Such couples also want to be as close as possible to amenities.  Much of their cooking will be with pre-prepared, ready to cook foods and much of their entertaining will take place, when they can afford it, at cafés, restaurants and bistros.  On weekends they will often travel elsewhere for their recreational activities.

These factors, said van der Merwe, make sectional title, Home Owner Association and security estate homes particularly sought-after by young people because such homes enable them to live the lock-up-and-go lifestyle they favour and to do so with relative security.

When they have children, and when these grow older and their salaries increase, the type of communal living described above becomes less acceptable to the couple. They begin to want gardens in which children can kick a ball or swing a bat and, equally important, they begin to resent the house or estate rules which often regulate the residents’ lives and, in particular, their children’s activities.

“They want to see their kids able to run free, to cycle, and to jump into pools without limits on the times in which they can do this or the noise they make in the process.”

“They may also want the family to have pets, sometimes a great many, and they will want these to have as much freedom as possible. None of this is feasible in any communal living situation.”

So – the couple begin to look for a home with 1,500 m2 to 4,000 m2 of garden where they set the rules themselves.  However, this amount of ground can, of course, sometimes be found in upmarket security estates, but they will tend, said van der Merwe, to be very expensive, probably priced above R6 million.

As the couple’s children enter their teen years, it is quite possible that they will move back to a gated estate for the simple reason that their offspring’s leisure time will probably be spent primarily at school – with sport and extra curricula activities often taking up the whole afternoon.

Then in their old age, the security offered by a gated estate or retirement village will once again become more and more important.


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