CENTURY 21 South Africa primes new franchisee for exponential success

News > news - 04 Jan 2007

Duncan Gray, franchisor of CENTURY 21 South Africa, is proud to announce the joining of his latest franchise, CENTURY 21 Prime Properties. The new office will operate in the greater Alberton and ‘New South’ areas and is headed up by joint partners Jacques Louw, Henry Lee and Ben Erasmus.

All CENTURY 21 Prime Properties franchisees agree that property prices in Alberton have increased dramatically over the last three years. They say that in general, the cheapest entry level homes in Alberton are priced at R600 000, while in Brakenhurst where the combined number of homes is around 7500, mid-level homes sell for between R900 000 to R950 000.

Lee notes that in Brakenhurst, homes can sell for up to R1,5m and homes in Brakendowns sell for up to R1m. Top-end homes in up-market areas such as Meyersdal usually sell for between R2m and R3m, but homes in the area have been known to sell for prices of up to R4,5m and R5m. The majority of interest and buying activity in Alberton however reportedly takes place in the R900 000 to R1,2m price bracket.

Looking at specific areas, Louw comments that Meyersdal has definitely taken off in the past few years and remains a highly sought after residential area. Alberante is also a very sought after area and in fact has become a very modern place to live. Homes here are older and more established, but they are located on bigger stands as large as 2000m2 to 2500m2. There are many well renovated homes in Alberante with prices ranging between R2m and R5m.

Interestingly enough, there are two new developed suburbs in the Alberton area including South Downs and Meyersig. Although these are lower priced suburbs, where homes sell for between R600 000 and R750 000, they are snapped up quickly by buyers when they do come onto the market.

In terms of demand, Louw notes a definite demand from buyers for homes in lifestyle estates. In Meyersdal there is an eco and lifestyle estate which was launched to the public and sold out in a matter of days. Lee comments that the cheapest property available in this estate is a 2500m2 piece of vacant land for R1,5m. “The estate has been environmentally well planned with wildlife recently introduced including Wildebeest. The homes also do not sit on top of one another and buyers clamour to own a piece of property here. It is worth noting that there is almost no vacant land available for sale in Alberton, other than land for sale in this estate.”

Alberton boasts a number of factors that make for a desirable residential area, such as excellent municipal support, good quality amenities and minimal traffic congestion. These franchisees say that the municipality in Alberton is very strict in comparison to other areas, and it is very uncommon to find that a traffic light, for example, is out of order in the area.

The rates and taxes in Alberton are also fairly low in comparison to the northern suburbs, which is a draw card for some buyers. There have been a number of upgrades to the area including a massive revamp to The Glen shopping centre in Glenvista, and the recent opening of the New Redruth Village Shopping Centre in Alberton, which is an exceptionally up-market shopping facility. There is also a range of good schools and hospitals, including the highly rated Marais Viljoen High School. Another draw card for the area is the thriving industrial area in Alrode, which has attracted a number of high profile companies.

Lee points to an emerging trend in the Alberton property market: “There appears to be a downward trend of buying older properties, demolishing them and then rebuilding new newer townhouses or cluster complexes. This may well be due to the high prices that sellers are asking for their properties, anywhere between R1,5m and R1,7m, but demolishing land in order to rebuild is happening at a slower rate than before.”

Commenting on the greater Alberton property market, Louw says that there has been a healthy influx of buyers and the market has grown rapidly.  “There has also been a tremendous growth in the amount of operating estate agents. Nevertheless, I think with the recent upswing in the interest rate, this will filter through to the estate agents and quite a few of them will leave the industry.”
 
Although demand has shown a decline, both Lee and Erasmus believe there are still properties in the area that are selling at record prices. “In the months to come, properties in Alberton will experience further growth, albeit at a slower rate. We expect this will be maintained until the end of 2007, at which time the market will turn positively in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.”

Prime Properties, which has been trading as CENTURY 21 Prime Properties as of 1 December, currently operates in the entire Alberton expanse including areas such Meyersdal, Brackenhurst, Brackendowns, Albertsdal, Mayberry Park, Randhart, New Redruth, Florentia, Verwoerd Park, Alberton North and Elandshaven. They also cover the ‘New South’ including areas such as Glenvista, Glenanda, Mulbarton, Basonia, Kibler Park, Mayfield Park, Liefde en Vrede.
 
Visit www.century21.co.za for more information

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