Buyers turning to existing homes

The scales have tipped in favour of those looking to purchase property, and buyers looking for good returns and value will find opportunities aplenty in established homes.

So says Carlos Moreira, principal of the new Homenet Olympic branches in Alberton and Rosettenville, who has 18 years of real estate experience in Johannesburg's southern suburbs.

He says prevailing market conditions are making life difficult for developers. High land and material costs as well as a shortage of skills have resulted in many planned developments being put on hold or in unit prices being increased to try to make ends meet.

"As a result, we are witnessing a buyer shift towards established homes as they offer greater value for money. It is practically impossible for developers to build quality homes for under R1m. Comparatively, buyers can obtain an existing three-bedroom sectional title unit in Rosettenville for R450 000. A similar full title home can be bought in Alberton for around R1m.

"Most of those buying existing homes in our areas are first-time buyers and we encourage them to go in this direction as such homes represent great investment opportunities. Semi-detached houses in the 'Old South' of Johannesburg for example can be bought for between R700 000 and R800 000, refurbished and resold for over R1m.

"Alternatively, buyers can live in one half and lease the other for around R3500 a month to assist with the bond."

Meanwhile, he says, the time is ripe for entry-level and middle-income homeowners to upgrade. "Properties at the top end of the market in areas such as Glenvista and Oakdene have stagnated to some extent with many sellers dropping their prices, which means real bargains for those looking to move up in the world."
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