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08 May 2012

South African property buyers seeking value for money and a complete lifestyle change are reportedly eyeing affordable homes and some smaller towns.

Situated in Ladismith this historic home is priced at R1.15 million through Pam Golding Properties. Dated circa 1885 and set on a large, double stand the house has four bedrooms and there is a separate guest cottage.

According to Pam Golding Properties (PGP) Klein Karoo area manager Masood Husain, buyers in this area include seniors looking for a getaway location away from the city and they mostly come from Gauteng.

Husain says vacant land in the Klein Karoo is available at exceptionally affordable prices, with a portion of land of approximately seven hectares in Ladismith recently sold for R245 000 and a 54ha piece of land in Calitzdorp acquired for R170 000.

Homes in Ladismith are priced between R550 000 to R1.8 million.

RE/MAX reports that the Cape Town suburb of Somerset West may not be a small town but it continues to attract buyers who appreciate scenic beauty, wine, good food and sense of history.

Lee Siebert, broker/owner of RE/MAX Helderberg, which operates in Somerset West and surrounding suburbs, explains that named after the British Governor, Lord Charles Somerset, in 1819, the town has grown over the years to become a modern village that has managed to retain its old world charm.

Siebert says Somerset West is considered to be the commercial and residential capital of the Helderberg Basin and offers residents excellent educational institutions as well as golf courses, sports clubs, cycling, running, mountain biking, hiking tracks and the Helderberg Nature Reserve for sports and nature lovers.

Siebert says while around 85 percent of property sales transactions handled by RE/MAX Helderberg over the past year have been to permanent residents, Somerset West also makes for an ideal investment property location with 15 percent of properties purchased as buy-to-let investments.

Buyers looking to cash in the Somerset West fortunes, look no further than the Somerset Lofts development. They are selling for R729 000 including VAT for a two bedroom unit through RE/MAX Helderberg.

Investors either buy homes that need renovations or purchase multiple cheaper properties as opposed to one more expensive property, according to Siebert.

Sotheby’s International Realty says properties that are well priced in Durbanville, to the north-east of Cape Town, are sold within four to six weeks.

Lindie de Bruin, principal of the local Sotheby’s International Realty franchise, says buyers can snap up family size homes priced at under R2 million.

In areas such as Stellenberg, Amanda Glen and Durbanville Hills a three bedroom, two bathroom home sells for between R1.4 million and R1.6 million.

Durbanville is within easy reach of the highway network connecting Cape Town with all the main towns in the Boland and is close to Cape Town International airport, so it is a convenient base from which to commute, she says.

Retirees find Durbanville attractive offering a variety of sectional title, life rights and freehold cottages from about R950 000.

The most popular property purchases currently are cluster homes in the R900 000 to R1.5 million range, homes in complexes offering facilities such as sports centres, tennis courts, pools and gyms, and retirement units in complexes with their own frail care facilities.

She says luxury properties in secure estates are priced up to R3 million.

Heritage Hill, a small residential estate in Midrand Gauteng, is said to be charming to buyers looking for tranquillity and a carefree lifestyle.

The estate near the SA Mint off the old Johannesburg/Pretoria Road offers clusters, townhouses and stately homes in heritage style with plaster or facebrick walls, deep verandas and pitched corrugated iron roofs.

A stately home on a 1 050 square metre stand in the Heritage Hill estate in Midrand is selling for R5.2 million through RealNet Midrand Estates.

It was established about six years ago on a part of the famous Erasmus farm and sensitive development ensured that the rural ambience was retained, says Lynette Gregorowski of RealNet Midrand Estates.

Gregorowski says the estate is ideally situated for people who work in Midrand, Pretoria, Ekurhuleni or Johannesburg's northern suburbs, thanks to the proximity of the two major highways.

“This allows buyers commuting convenience without having to sacrifice their chosen lifestyle in serene surroundings.”

Home prices at Heritage Hill start at about R1.25 million for two bedroom full title cluster homes, while clusters with three bedrooms are priced from R1.8 million.

These units are popular among younger buyers while family buyers often opt for the larger free-standing homes.

Prices of these larger homes start at around R2 million for three bedroom units and range up to about R5.2 million for a stately residence of around 600 square metres under roof, typically with four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Vacant stands cost R350 000 for 500 square metres and R900 000 for 1 000 square metres.

In addition, she says the estate offers a pre-primary school, and a school for older learners is in the planning stages as well as another 20 new cluster units on the cards. – Denise Mhlanga

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