East Rand market still abuzz

The East Rand property market is still buzzing - with the value to be found in towns such as Springs, Brakpan and Nigel being hard to beat.

So says Patsy Pretorius, who opened four new Chas Everitt International offices in the area earlier this year and notes that there is still strong buyer demand although there has been a slight slowdown in sales on the back of rising prices and interest rates.

"In fact the lively market, combined with a royal reception of the Chas Everitt brand in the area has seen us reaching our six to nine month forecast within four months of opening our offices in Benoni, Brakpan, Springs and Nigel."

The group of offices is also trading as far afield as Heidelberg and Pretorius says the brand quickly penetrated that market. "We had our first listing in Heidelberg the day we started operating and sold our first property there a week later. We are currently looking for premises in order to open a permanent office in the town."

Meanwhile higher interest rates have had a surprisingly gentle impact on the East Rand market, she says. "Because property prices in the area offer good value, buyers here have worked out that the rise of one percent will not impact too heavily on their bond repayments. However, most are being cautious not to stretch themselves to the limit and allow some room for further hikes."

Property in Benoni is somewhat more expensive than in neighbouring towns, Pretorius says. The entry level is around R480 000 for a typical two-bedroom flat and the highest volume of sales takes place in the R700 000 to R1,5-million range.

In popular Heidelberg, older three-bedroom, one-bathroom homes cost from R550 000 upwards while more modern units cost from R800 000 upwards.

But a comfortable three-bedroom, two-bathroom home will only cost around R420 000 in Nigel, R480 000 in Springs and R540 000 in Brakpan, which is why the Far East Rand continues to appeal to first-time buyers.

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