Buyers and investors' best home buys

21 May 2012

Secure residential property developments attract many home buyers with first-timers said to buy into estates, sectional title and cluster homes.

Although there is still a healthy demand for freehold homes, she says there is increasing interest from first-time buyers for residential estates, featuring both sectional title and cluster housing options.

According to Careen Mckinon, sales and acquisitions manager at ooba, the demand for houses within secure property developments is on the increase.

Although there is still a healthy demand for freehold homes, she says there is increasing interest from first-time buyers for residential estates, featuring both sectional title and cluster housing options.

McKinon says ooba’s April 2012 statistics reveal that 50.9 percent of home loan applicants were first-time homebuyers.

She points out that security is perceived to be one of the reasons for buying in secure developments as is the lifestyle and communal aspects that these developments often include.

Mckinon notes that following the economic slowdown over the past four years, there is also a demand for units in residential estates that are accessible and priced reasonably.

Aerial view of the Rawson Developers Rondebosch Oaks project, now sold out.

“The number of new housing units for which building plans were approved by local government institutions was up by 27 percent year-on-year in March 2012.”    

She says that from an economic point of view, residential developments generally provide an opportunity for consumers to enter the property market, especially in an environment where the interest rates are stable at lower levels and therefore provide buyers with an ideal opportunity to purchase property. 

Buyers purchasing in new developments do not have to pay transfer duties, which also contributes towards the attractiveness of investing in property in a residential development, says Mckinon.

In the Western Cape, Rawson Developers say Rondebosch Oaks, a 256 unit apartment development on a 20 000 square metre site in Rouwkop Road in Rondebosch is sold out.

The apartments at Quaynorth, designed by Chris Bam Architects are priced from R920 000 to R2.450 million.

Paul Henry, managing director of Rawson Developers explains that when the first phase of the development launched, 150 units were sold out in four days.

The second phase with 106 units launched in November 2010 is also sold out - construction began early this year.

Those who bought in phase one have seen an average 7 percent annual capital appreciation and this is expected to rise even higher in the years to come, says Henry.

All units in Rondebosch Oaks are single bedroom units and those in the second phase are slightly larger than those in the first phase. 

Units have 46 to 48 square metres floor areas and 6 and 9 square metre balconies. 

Henry says units were priced from R 795 000 to R1 million.

He notes that demand for apartments in the Rondebosch precinct is still very strong and Rawson Developers have three Rondebosch projects in the pipeline and two at Claremont.

In Century City Cape Town, the Rabie Property Group will build a niche development, Quaynorth with 28 apartments, 26 of which are water fronting.

Construction will commence in September2012 with transfer scheduled for towards the end of 2013.

The apartments at Quaynorth, designed by Chris Bam Architects measure between 53 and 81 square metres for one bedroom units, two bedroom duplexes measure between 86 to 137 square metres and three bedroom penthouses measure between 143 to164 square metres.

The nine one bedroom units are priced from R920 000 Vat inclusive, the 13 two bedroom units from R1 495 000, the four two bedroom duplexes from R1 650 0000 and the two three bedroom penthouses from R2 450 000.  

All one bedroom units come with one parking bay while two and three bedroom units will each have two basement parking bays.

Brian Usher of Property World says prices are averaging R14 100 per square metre including balconies.

Quaynorth is centrally located within Century City, adjacent to the award winning Waterstone development and in easy walking access of many of Century City’s amenities including Canal Walk shopping centre, Intaka Island nature reserve and the Century City Clubhouse and sports Oval.

In the Eastern Cape, Heather Tyson, owner of the Port Alfred local Sotheby’s International Realty franchise says new student accommodation will be developed in Port Alfred.

Aerial view showing the location of Anchor Village in relation to the Stenden SA campus and the Port Alfred beach. Currently, term-time rentals for the Stenden students will be R2 000 per room and levies will be R500 a month, and on this basis, investors can expect a return of at least 6.91 percent on their investment from the very first year.

She explains that Stenden South Africa - a satellite campus of Stenden University in the Netherlands has announced plans to expand its student intake to about 1 500 over the next couple of years.

“This has given rise to an exceptional opportunity for property investors in the form of student flats that can also be used or let as holiday accommodation.”

Developers, Russ and Amanda Brom of Thornbird Trade and Invest have launched Anchor Village, a new complex of three bedroom and three bathroom student flats to be built on a site just 500m from the Stenden campus.

Anchor Village is being developed on a 2ha site, only 25 percent of which will be built on while the rest is left as a park-like setting with lawns, trees and shrubs as well as a pool and lapa for the use of residents.

Construction is due to start by the middle of this year and the first phase – three blocks of 12 units each – is expected to be ready for occupation in 2013.

The fully-furnished units are priced from R867 000 and the first phase of 36 units is already almost sold out, she says.

Tyson says that on demand, Stenden is prepared to sign lease contracts with the owners of the flats for 10 months of every year.

During the other two months – December and January – the owners can either use the flats themselves, let them out or use privately as holiday accommodation for an estimated R1 000 a day.

A new phase of 14 additional erven has been launched at Longlands Country Estate and these homes are priced from R995 000 and R1.3 million.

They are very close to the beach and the complex will also have excellent security with access control and off-road parking.

Currently, term-time rentals for the Stenden students will be R2 000 per room and levies will be R500 a month, and on this basis, investors can expect a return of at least 6.91 percent on their investment from the very first year, she says.

Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that a new phase of 14 additional erven has been launched at Longlands Country Estate, a lifestyle development located 7km outside Stellenbosch.

The new country phase will offer smaller erven at affordable prices, boosting the residential offering on the property to a total of 92 units.

The 14 erven measure 600 square metres and are priced between R995 000 and R1.3 million and the 36 erven in the original phase measure between 700 and 1 246 square metres with prices ranging from R1.49 million to R2.9 million. 

PGP’s development manager Louise Varga says the lifestyle on offer at Longlands has made it very popular with a variety of buyers, from professionals with young families to high-profile business executives and even retirees. 

She adds that the new product offering of the country phase now places this enviable lifestyle within reach of a wider range of buyers. –Denise Mhlanga

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