Having taken a knock late last year, the property market on the East Rand is now consolidating, with lower asking prices attracting buyers once more and a lag in development rebalancing the supply and demand equation.
So says Patsy Pretorius, CEO of the Chas Everitt International group of franchises that cover Benoni, Brakpan, Springs and Nigel. "Enquiries and activity at show houses are definitely up in response to the interest rate decreases, and sales are occurring although the banks' new lending and deposit criteria are playing havoc and we're hoping there will be a softening of these policies shortly.
"If there is, we're positive that the market will improve significantly before the year is out."
The East Rand has buyer appeal for a number of reasons, she says, among them being the facts that properties generally offer good value for money, that the area is well serviced with good schools, shops and other facilities, and that residents enjoy easy access to other nodes as well as local workplaces via a comprehensive road and highway system.
The different towns in the region do, however, attract different types of buyers. For instance, Benoni is regarded as an "upper crust" area and homes here sell for R1,4m on average.
In Brakpan, homes are selling for between R600 000 and R800 000 while a home in Springs can be bought for as little as R380 000. Three-bedroom, two-bathroom freehold properties are the best sellers across the board.
As for the rental market, Pretorius says this is still very active as it is absorbing the overspill from those who would like to buy homes but cannot qualify for homes loans at the moment. "In fact, reasonably-priced rental properties are being snapped up within hours of coming on to the market."
ISSUED BY CHAS EVERITT