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30 Aug 2013

The property market in Lynnwood, Pretoria, is benefiting as more home buyers seek ways to avoid traffic congestion, increasing fuel costs and looming toll fees.

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Many upper middle-class buyers are relocating from newer suburbs on the outskirts of the city and are looking for homes closer to schools, shops and workplaces or with access to the highway network, says local RealNet co-franchisee Willem Theunissen.

He says they are weary of facing time-consuming commutes in traffic to get to work in Pretoria, or to access freeway links to other business nodes such as Centurion or Midrand. Spiralling fuel costs and the prospect of toll fees are adding to their discomfort.

Lynnwood is a particular target of their attention primarily because of its central position and proximity to the University of Pretoria's main campus and schools such as Pretoria Boys’ High and Girls’ High and Afrikaans MeisiesHoërand SeunsHoër, Theunissen says. "Access to the N1 highway is quick and suburban traffic volumes are lower than on the eastern side of the N1."

Theunissen says such buyers still place a high premium on safety and homes in boomed-off roads and enclaves are the most sought-after. These include Strubenkop, Alpine, Border Road, Queens Crescent and Farmer's Folly.

House prices start at around R1.3 million for standard family homes situated near the highway. The most popular price range is between R2 million and R4 million, with homes at the lower end of this range being older and those at the upper end usually renovated and modernised.

"Buyers are definitely also looking for value as well as convenience. Although some top properties are on the market at prices of up to R14 million, this segment of the market is currently subdued."

However the healthy demand for homes in the mid-range - which Theunissen confidently expects will increase as fuel costs rise - has prompted the RealNet Lynnwood franchise to recruit more dedicated agents to serve surrounding suburbs such as Menlopark, Ashley Gardens, Maroelana and Newlands.

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