Bloemfontein appears to be one of the best places in the country to live, or so a recent survey showed. Dan Pienaar the adjacent suburb to Bayswater was voted the best suburb to stay in, anywhere in South Africa. Upgrades are fast transforming the look of suburbs like this, increasing property values in the areas.
But Bloemfontein, which has always seen a steady growth, has joined the big cities in South Africa by experiencing serious growth over the past number of years. Like many of its big brothers it is also suffering from increased traffic and high demand. Local authorities have to been caught short and are not able to provide additional development ground at the rate that is required. As a result little or no development ground is available in the city. This is putting server strains on the available building sites, with recently reported high prices for duet sites and subdivisions.
As a result of the very high price of available development ground and the cost of servicing these sites units have tended to get smaller in an attempt by developers to keep prices down. 72 sq m townhouses two bedroom town houses may well demand a selling price of R750k and there is a feeling amongst buyers that value for money and affordability may be missing.
One result of this change in the market has been that some of the older house suburbs are now been seen as bargain baskets. Bayswater to the north of the city and adjacent to Dan Pienaar is a typical example. This middle of the road housing suburb now offers considerable attraction to potential buyers. Whilst there are cracks to be found in homes in the area, these generally are not that serious, after all the houses are forty plus years old and none have fallen down.
Grounds are spacious; 1100 to 1400 sq m, with mature tree filled gardens. Houses are large in current terms with floor areas of between 180 and 250 sq m. Most importantly prices are comparatively very cheap from R600k to R900k for reasonable to good condition homes. Most have large older style swimming pools that can be easily upgraded.
Buyers are now buying these homes and stripping them to a shell. Upgrades and extensions are converting homes in the area to top market smart modern homes at a fraction of the price of buying virgin house stands and building from scratch.
Mike Spencer from local company Platinum Global said "Paying R600k to R900k and then spending up to R400k makes a lot of sense. You end up with a brand new large roomed modern home, in a good area, close to schools, shops, and other facilities and have the added bonus of an established garden, big trees and a huge pool. Value is exceptionally good when buying houses and renovating like this. I have personally lived in the area for over 32 years and have never had a burglary, even though I never had any fencing or gates at all!"
Spencer said that the new building that was going on was transforming the suburb. "Those who bought soon would see substantial increases in their property values as the popularity of the suburb grew". He confirmed that Platinum Global was looking for suitable properties to offer to its pool of buyers.
Some of the larger plots have been subdivided and duet units are being constructed on the subdivisions. Many of these new properties were being put into the market at prices over R1,5m and this was also doing much to increase property values in the area.
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