07 Feb 2013
The suburb of Garsfontein, located east of Pretoria’s city centre has maintained a calm, laid-back feel despite it's proximity to the hustle and bustle of the country’s capital and major transport routes.
With Jacaranda lined avenues, and numerous shopping centres and entertainment facilities, it is ideally situated and well-planned with all the necessary amenities virtually on one’s doorstep.
The area has private hospitals and a church, as well as an 18-hole championship golf course situated on the Woodhill Golf Estate. For residents who are more interested in wildlife than teeing off, it is a short drive to the 3000 hectare Rietvlei Nature Reserve, which is located just east of Irene.
Garsfontein is regarded as a relatively new suburb and even though a great number of the properties in the area are townhouses and cluster developments, the freestanding houses are large with well-maintained gardens.
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says the property market consists of 40 percent sectional title units and 8 percent estates, but freestanding homes are the predominant type of property accounting for 53 percent of the suburb’s market stock.
He says nearly 80 percent of the existing owners are between 36 and 64 years old with 43.82 percent of the homeowners having lived in the area for 11 or more years. Goslett points out that while most of the existing homeowners are over 36 years old, the largest percentage of recent buyers in Garsfontein are aged between 18 and 35 years old, proving that the area is popular among the younger generation buyers. Approximately 37 percent of recent sellers were between 36 and 49 years old, while 29.71 percent fell within the 50 to 64 year old age category.
Figures from Lightstone reveal that from 2004 to 2007 sectional title units outsold freestanding homes, however, in 2008 freestanding homes outsold sectional title units for the first time. Since 2008, both types of properties have performed fairly equally with 152 freestanding homes and 156 sectional title units sold between January and December 2012.
Although there have been no dramatic changes in property prices and the market has remained consistent, the average price for a freestanding home and sectional title unit are marginally higher than the prices seen in 2007, which is widely regarded as the peak of the boom period. During 2007 the average price of a freestanding home was R1.122 million and the average price of a sectional title unit was R749 000, while in 2012 the average price of a freestanding home was R1.183 million and the average price of a sectional title unit was R802 000.
According to Goslett, homes priced between R800 000 and R1.5 million are the most sought-after, accounting for 63 percent of all sales in the area between January and December 2012. Approximately 31 percent of the homes sold in the same period were bought for between R400 000 and R800 000, while only 2.3 percent were bought for under R400 000. Some demand was seen for property on a slightly higher end of the scale with around 4 percent of the homes bought for between R1.5 million and R3 million.
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