16 Jan 2013
The attractive suburb of Welgemoed and its adjacent suburbs – Loevenstein, Van Riebeekshof, Oude Westhof, De Bron, Protea Valley, Door de Kraal, Welgedacht and Kanonberg – are sometimes referred to as ‘the Constantia of the Northern Suburbs’.
Many also say they are the most attractive areas in the Northern Suburbs because, like Constantia, even the older homes in this haven have great distinction. In addition to all of this, these areas have well designed shopping centres and, although only having primary and not high schools, are close enough to several in adjoining areas.
Welgemoed, which has now been in existence for some 60 years, also has one of the Cape’s best golf courses, a tennis and karate club, as well as close proximity to many gymnasia, hospitals, clinics, restaurants and hotels.
Interestingly, too, although residents in this area were almost exclusively all Afrikaners initially, today those who live in the area are far more cosmopolitan, around 50 percent of the population being English speaking, with a sprinkling of foreigners from Germany, Italy, Greece, Portugal and various parts of Asia.
A recent analysis by Lightstone showed that, again like Constantia, over 40 percent of the residents have lived in Welgemoed for 11 years or longer and over 85 percent of the homes are owned by those aged from 36 to 64.
This is, therefore, not typically an area for the aspiring younger buyer looking for a well-priced first or second home, says Ronell Melonas-Young, who, with Paul Abbott, is the co-franchisee for Rawson Properties in Welgemoed.
The similarities with Constantia also extend to the difficulties faced by any estate agent operating in upmarket areas in South Africa today.
Demand for homes in such areas is constant, but affordability plays a big part and with a few exceptions, residents are seldom desperate to sell.
Many, in fact, also have second holiday homes which they are holding onto, says Melonas-Young.
When sellers do enter the market, she says, they are usually not prepared to accept ‘cheeky’ or low offers. They will often pass on their homes to their children when they move into a retirement village, rather than put them on the market.
In these conditions, she says, certain homes will stay on the market for anything from 18 to 24 months, while others are withdrawn from the market and rented out for a year or two.
A Lightstone survey reveals that the average sales prices of a sectional title unit in the Welgemoed area in 2012 was R1.482 million and the average price of a freehold home was R2.075 million.
Melonas-Young says the price range in Welgemoed is from R2 million to R9 million and in Welgedacht and Kanonberg it is even higher - ranging from R3.5 million to R15 million.
In other related areas, townhouses can sometimes be bought for as little as R800 000, but the average price of a freehold home will, as indicated, be between R1.5 million and R2.5 million.
According to Melonas-Young, most of the potential buyers have no difficulty in getting bonds because not only are their credit records good but they can usually bank big deposits - 40 to 60 percent not being uncommon.
Buyers hoping to buy on the condition that they sell their existing homes, all too often find that they cannot do this and their advice to such people is that they should try to get a definite offer on their homes before they negotiate elsewhere.
Like certain other Rawson Properties franchisees, she says, the current rigid application of ‘score card’ criteria by sometimes inexperienced assessors at the banks can lead to reputable applicants, especially those running their own businesses, being too readily turned down or given difficult conditions.
Again, as in most affluent South African areas, the Welgemoed rental market is flourishing right now, with sectional title rentals averaging R7 500 per month and homes at R12 000 per month.
From the current stock list, Melonas-Young picked out three good examples of what is on offer...
On the market is a R5.3 million double storey home with 480 square metres of floor area in Welgemoed. This large and modern home has a face brick façade and four bedrooms, as well as four communal rooms. In addition to two garages, it also has staff quarters and two carports.
A home priced at R7.75 million is also on the market in Welgemoed. This home offers 656 square metres of floor area, six bedrooms, attic accommodation, six family and communal rooms, a laundry, a scullery and a breakfast nook linked to an open plan kitchen, a built-in braai, a built-in bar, a Jacuzzi and three garages. There are also two swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor.
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