Credit crunch hits Pretoria North market

The residential property market in Pretoria North and surrounds is being suppressed by lending institutions in spite of renewed demand.

Anemi Leach of the local RealNet office says demand has climbed, yet two out of three credit applicants are being turned down. "In many instances banks require cash deposits of up to 30 percent before they will grant loans. But for many prospective buyers, this threshold is simply too high."

She says there is currently good stock availability in Soshanguve where buyers generally target three-bedroom homes in the R250 000 to R350 000 bracket. There is also still demand for larger homes with up to five bedrooms and these units are often converted to guesthouses because of growing demand for overnight accommodation.

Stock levels in nearby suburbs such as Florauna, Amandasig and Ninapark are also high since owners who have thus far managed to keep up with higher bond repayments are starting to struggle because of higher living costs.

Leach says there are now good buys in these areas, with many sellers willing to accept prices that will cover their outstanding bonds. Prices generally start at about R900 000. "This represents excellent value since many properties here compare favourably to those in upmarket suburbs such as Waterkloof. Homes are generally set in lush gardens thanks to the tropical climate, while the Magaliesberg forms a dramatic backdrop."

Properties in the Orchards and Akasia areas arguably offer even better value. Three-bedroom homes with double facilities and swimming pools are currently selling here from about R650 000.

Leach says commercial development has boosted Akasia's popularity. "Commercial activity is anchored by the extensive Wonderpark shopping centre and new restaurants are being opened. There are now also signs of densification with the first high-rise development in the area having been completed recently. Bachelor units in this development sell from R300 000 while two-bedroom units sell from R500 000."

Prices of smallholdings in Heatherdale between Akasia and Pretoria North range between R2m and R4m for holdings of between 1ha and 4ha.

Issued by RealNet

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