The Chas Everitt International satellite office in Worcester has become a fully-fledged franchise.
The new owners are Louis and Helena Geldenhuys, who are well known in the area as the owners of the Du Toitskloof Lodge between Worcester and Paarl.
Helena, who trained as a social worker, changed careers in 1999 when she became an estate agent at a local agency in Paarl. She joined the Chas Everitt Paarl office last year and worked in its satellite office in Worcester.
"We see great opportunities in the Worcester property market and are very pleased to join the Chas Everitt property group as owners of the local franchise. Worcester is fast becoming the development nexus of the Boland and is attracting upcountry buyers and investors because local prices compare very favourably to those in surrounding towns," she says.
Recent developments in the area include the Golden Valley casino and conference centre and the Mountain Mill shopping mall. "The hotel at the casino complex has recently opened and these projects have brought many job opportunities, which will bring spin-offs for the local residential market."
Geldenhuys adds that while the residential market is currently relatively quiet due to rising interest rates and stricter lending criteria, there is activity in the industrial market and demand for small business.
"And we are seeing growing numbers of investors from Gauteng who are becoming aware that local property prices are very competitive for the region. Buyers are also attracted by the lifestyle, the spectacular setting among the Boland mountains with views of the valley and vineyards, and our proud heritage that is evident in the many historical buildings that have been preserved."
Lifestyle buyers are especially targeting smallholdings surrounding Worcester where prices start at around R2m. The suburb of Fairview Heights offers top properties in the same price range and is being targeted by buyers who want to live around the local golf course.
Geldenhuys adds that the bottom end of the market is resilient, with prices of small units in residential areas on the edges of town starting at around R150 000 while the cheapest properties in the town proper now cost R350 000 and more. "It is encouraging that the entry-level market is active. There will be renewed activity across the whole spectrum when these buyers start scaling up."
Issued by Chas Everitt International