20 Nov 2012
Blairgowrie is situated in the heart of Johannesburg’s northern suburbs and is considered one of the older suburbs with many of the houses dating back to the 1940s and 1950s, a large number of families having lived there for over 30 years.
The tree-lined neighbourhood gives way to Delta Park, a favourite haunt for cyclists and joggers who make the most of the wide open spaces. Entrepreneurs and small businesses, as well as those who work from home, find the close proximity to Sandton, Hyde Park and Rosebank a bonus.
Within the last ten years there has been an influx of families with young children who are attracted by the leafy neighbourhood, large properties and excellent schools nearby.
Many of the 1 000 square metre properties have granny cottages, considered ideal for multi-generational living, and accommodation for students and young adults starting out in the world.
House prices vary from R1.05 million for an older home with a granny flat, three bedrooms and a study, to R4.8 million for a guest house with six en suite bedrooms.
The average price for sales based on transfers over the last ten months hovers around R1.3 million.
According to the Deeds Office, bythe third quarter, approximately 116 properties were registered.
Before deciding to settle on a home, it’s best to look around and compare value across all suburbs, says Jawitz Properties’ agent Helen Chinyanta who specialises in Blairgowrie.
She says at entry level, Blairgowrie has consistently offered value for money.
“At present there is a shortage of stock. Nevertheless, we are receiving more requests for valuations from owners who want to test the market, only to discover that their dream home is out of their price range.”
She says it’s the sign of the times - buyers are cautious about not over-extending themselves and are prepared to sit it out and wait for better times. However, when properties do come on the market and are priced right, they change hands fairly quickly, she says.
“There is no doubt that homes that are pitched at market related prices get a far better response. When this is coupled with perceived value, properties are usually sold within eight weeks.”
She says they’ve had buyers vying for the same property but the downside is that those who refuse to listen to the market will have to wait a lot longer to sell.
Demand has improved, aided by lower interest rates and an increased uptick in bond approvals. Prospective buyers are taking the precaution of consulting with their bankers as to whether they qualify for a bond and are succeeding in getting pre-approvals prior to putting in offers.
Other buyers are purchasing after they have sold their previous home and therefore know in advance what they have available to spend. There are also those who diligently set aside monies for the deposit, eliminating the necessity of applying for a 100 percent bond. By the same token, many buyers pay cash after the sale of a previous home.
Bargains are few and far between. There is, however, a property on a 972 square metre stand with three bedrooms, a study, large pool and garden, going for R1.4 million that offers great potential for a complete renovation. The owner has been living there since it was built 55 years ago.
Being an older suburb, Blairgowrie does not have many developments.
Most are stand alone properties and provide a blank canvas for a creative investor to modernise and refurbish.
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