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Chas Everitt opens in Newcastle

Chas Everitt International has ratcheted its growing presence in smaller towns up a notch with the conversion to the brand of a Newcastle real estate office.


Ferdi and Lee-Anne Labuschagne are the new Chas Everitt International franchisees in Newcastle.

The franchise rights have been awarded to Ferdi and Lee-Anne Labuschagne, who joined the group after a short stint as co-owners of a local estate agency under another national brand.
 
Ferdi, who is an experienced attorney with a specific interest in real estate, says the change-over yielded immediate results. "The reception in the local market has been very favourable and we experienced a dramatic and immediate increase in sole mandates in the upper levels of the market."
 
He adds that the Chas Everitt International business model is specifically designed for the SA market while management systems enable owners and principals to run their operations efficiently.
 
"A function-specific array of electronic and media tools makes it easy for our agents to be effective in the market and the group's ultimate professionalism fills a dire need in the South African property market as a whole."
 
The franchise area covers Newcastle in northern KZN and the surrounding townships of Madadeni and Osizweni, as well as nearby towns such as Dundee, Glencoe and Dannhauser. Labuschagne says plans are in the pipeline to open a branch office early next year in the Dundee/Glencoe area.
 
"Our current complement of three full-status agents and three candidate agents will be increased by another four agents to fully serve our market and agents will specialise in respectively residential, agricultural and commercial properties, as well as new developments."
 
And in view of the lively rental market in Newcastle, a specialised Chas Everitt Property Rentals franchise will be established towards the end of the year. Labuschagne says the town’s economy is largely industrially driven with giants Accelor Mittal, Karbochem and Lanxess underpinning its fortunes. "The nature and size of local industrial concerns dictate a large turnover and increase of staff, which has resulted in massive rental demand, to such an extent that rental stock is currently in very short supply."
 
Investors are consequently very active in the market as it has become apparent that rental income locally will almost always exceed bond repayments by a good percentage, he says. "Numerous sectional title simplex developments are now under way, and will go a long way towards relieving stock shortages. Most of these offer between eight and 15 units and are aimed at buyers and investors with rental income in mind."
 
Growing employment in the industrial sector is also spurring home purchases in the price brackets below R1,5m, typically sectional title townhouses or full title family homes. Strong demand for townhouses in this price bracket has given rise to development of several new building projects.
 
Labuschagne says, however, that a wide range of properties is available at prices ranging from R90 000 in the traditional townships, to R5m in eco developments such as Vulintaba. Farms are also in strong demand and very few units with commercial value are available for less than R7m.


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