Rustenburg's property market has "come of age" in the sense that its base has broadened to include emergent buyers en masse.
That's the conclusion of Anneke Van As of leading local agency Homenet Rustenburg, who says this factor is now playing a major role in the market. "The traditional market of the area has experienced exceptional growth in keeping with the rest of the country over the past few years but activity has begun to tail off somewhat lately," she says.
"Especially at the upper end, buyers have realised that they can bargain prices down. In one instance recently, a home placed on the market at R1-million was eventually sold for R850 000."
The affordable sector of the local market is however buoyant, she says. "There is strong demand in the R100 000 to R400 000 bracket, especially in areas such as Rustenburg North and Geelhout Park.
"This is the category on which emergent buyers tend to concentrate, but not exclusively so and increasingly, wealthier black buyers are moving up the property ladder into the mid-range of the market and buying homes priced at between R400 000 and R850 000.
"The most popular areas in this respect include 'up-town' Rustenburg as it has become known, where stock is available in moderate quantities." It is largely thanks to the expansion of the buyer base and upward mobility on the part of emergent buyers, she says, that the overall market in Rustenburg is still strong.
"In general the market remains solid, and the local economy, supported by the success of the platinum mines, is also strong. The town itself is also becoming increasingly popular for its business opportunities and quality of life."