Julie Davison-White, principal of the Aida Midrand office, reports that banks have been granting bonds of up to 100% to buyers with good credit records when they buy property in these areas, as well as some other parts of Midrand.
“This is not the norm, as most buyers still have to have deposits of at least five or 10%, but many buyers in Clayville and Tembisa have been purchasing via the assisted sales programmes offered by the banks to financially distressed homeowners. Through these programmes, buyers are often able to access 100% bonds as well as a 50% reduction in transfer costs, enabling them to get a foothold in the market much more easily.”
Aida is one of 10 companies countrywide that is assisting distressed sellers for all four major banks, she explains, “and Aida Midrand is proud to have assisted many distressed owners to sell their properties at reasonable prices instead of having them repossessed and having their credit records badly tarnished”.
Such properties, she says, have generally sold very quickly, at prices ranging from R350 000 to R550 000 for freestanding homes in Tembisa and from R550 000 to R700 000 for freehold homes in Clayville.
Meanwhile, says Davison-White, there is also strong demand for lower-priced properties in popular areas such as Vorna Valley, where unit prices average R550 000; Halfway Gardens, where townhouses are priced at between R650 000 and R900 000 and Noordwyk, where houses priced at below R1m “are selling like hotcakes”.
As for freehold homes in higher price brackets, Halfway Gardens is currently one of the most popular areas for buyers targeting suburban homes priced between R1,1m and R2,2m, and clusters costing between R1,4m and R2,5m, and sales are increasing, she says.
“What has declined is the demand for vacant land in Midrand, but developed agricultural smallholdings are still sought-after at prices starting from R1,2m.”
Meanwhile the rental market is very lively and stock has been boosted by softer selling prices. “It has been difficult for owners who bought their properties in the past five years to sell at a profit or even at a price equal to their outstanding bond and many have offered these properties for rental instead.”
Two-bedroom units renting for around R4000 to R4500 a month are in strong demand, Davison-White says, and three-bedroom homes readily draw tenants at rentals of between R5500 and R6500 a month.
“Smaller one-bedroom units at R2500 a month are also sought-after but there is little stock available in this category. Rental properties near the Gautrain station and bus routes are particularly popular now among Tuks students who can commute easily and quickly to the Hatfield university campus, and among professionals who prefer this method of commuting to their Pretoria or Johannesburg offices.”