Bargain hunting is in full swing in the Centurion property market, but with
few exceptions, buyers looking for a low cost "score" in this area are in
for a disappointment.
So says Joey Maritz, principal of leading local agency Homenet VWB, who
notes that while prices in Centurion are generally moving "sideways" at the
moment, investors are not to any large extent selling off the thousands of
buy-to-let flats and townhouses they bought in this area during the recent
"This suggests two things; the first being that most of these property
owners are absorbing the recent interest rate increases and presumably
making allowances for anticipated further increases, and the second being
that they have come to terms with the fact that property is no longer
running red hot and has resumed its rightful place in the investment mix as
a medium to longer-term prospect."
Maritz says there has been a noticeable increase lately in tenants wishing
to rent with an option to buy units at current prices.
"This obviously reflects their belief or hope that salaries will catch up
with prices and these homes become more affordable to them over the next 12
to 18 months. Our take however is that playing the waiting game will not
improve their buying power and that bluntly, salaries will not keep up with
"And investors would appear to agree in that while they are obviously keen
to let properties they acquired for investment, few are prepared to conclude
these 'option-to-buy' agreements at prices fixed at today's levels.
"In other words, they too anticipate that the market will resume strong
growth in due course and have adjusted their thinking about rental income
and capital growth accordingly."
As for market conditions in general, there is a shortage of entry-level
stock in Centurion, she says. "The upper market segments are moving, albeit
slowly, but most of the action is at the middle to lower end as may be
expected. The entry level in Centurion is currently around R520 000."