Leading Rustenburg estate agency Propcor SA has just become the latest to convert to the growing Chas Everitt International brand.
Rustenburg is the fastest-growing town in SA in terms of new retail, commercial and infrastructure development, which should provide plenty of business for Chas Everitt International.
Agency owner Eric de Wet says the agency will be part of a national group with more than 100 branches across South Arica.
“And we are very happy with our decision, because Chas Everitt International espouses the same family values we do and on which we have built Propcor SA since 2005 into the biggest non-franchised agency in Rustenburg."
De Wet says the group is advanced in the use of business technology and online marketing and it will enable them to expand their horizons and to give potential buyers all over the country rapid access to information about Rustenburg properties for sale and to let.
He notes that Chas Everitt International has agreements with all the major banks regarding their distressed property programmes – which means they will be able to assist sellers that need help dealing with financially challenging times, and be able to offer their buyers a selection of quality homes at good prices.
“This is critical at the moment, because although Rustenburg is the fastest-growing town in SA in terms of new retail, commercial and infrastructure development, the residential market has taken a serious dip since the mine strikes and the massacre in the nearby village of Marikana."
He explains this slowdown is not because of a lack of demand, which has always exceeded supply in Rustenburg and still does, whether you are looking to buy or to rent, but, he says, the local market has had a shock and people are scared and this has resulted in property owners being reluctant to put their homes on the market or to commit to long leases, with the overall effect being a serious shortage of stock.
Also troubling at the moment is the fact that banks are insisting on large deposits in most cases and valuing properties and approving bonds according to “bank security value”, which does not necessarily coincide with actual “market value”.
De Wet says they are often unprepared to lend as much as the prospective buyer is happy to pay, and with deposits already high, it means the homeowner has to lower his price if he really wants to sell. Quite a number decide at this point that they would then rather wait and see if the market improves.
However, he is confident this situation will be short-lived. “Unusually for SA, the market here has constant impetus because most of the mines around Rustenburg give their employees a housing subsidy and encourage them to become homeowners."
Unlike many towns, they do have a supply of affordable starter properties in the former townships priced from R120 000 to R350 000.
For buyers in the R450 000 to R1.1 million price range, De Wet says there are a number of developments of flats and townhouses being built by the mall in Waterfall East, and existing homes for sale in East End and Geelhoutpark.
Taking the next step, De Wet says family buyers tend to prefer the “bo-dorp” precinct as well as the newer suburbs of Heuwelsig and Proteapark, while executives and professionals tend to opt for Cashan and Safari Park, where prices can go all the way up to about R15 million. The mines and the business that they generate keep new buyers coming.
He says the Rustenburg market has its own rhythm that doesn't coincide with the national property trends, but as one of the best connected local estate agencies,they know how it works. "And now that we are part of Chas Everitt International we can share that valuable knowledge with a much wider audience.”