23 Oct 2012
Property trend watchers looking for signs of how the Cape residential market has reshaped itself in recent years may find it interesting to track the experiences of Elmira van den Bergh, and her husband, Kevin.
When they took over the Parow franchise in 2010 (at a low point in the recession) it included the large upmarket Plattekloof precinct, where the average house price was and still is ± R2.5 million. However, it now appears that many homes were over-bonded.
“Sales there were at that stage very hard to bring about, even though the suburb had its fair share of distressed sellers,” says Van den Bergh.
Van den Bergh says the homes in Parow are priced from R700 000 to R1.8 million, with higher prices only being found in Parow North. "This price range is exactly right for today’s market and demand here has always been strong. The only drawback is that 30% percent or more of our bond applications are rejected.”
She says in obtaining bond approvals, Rawson Properties is more successful than most agencies because they make good use of the group’s bond origination division, Rawson Finance, which ensures that the majority of buyers are pre-qualified before they go too far down the buying track.
The Rawson Properties Parow agency averages three to five sales per month and Van den Bergh says this makes them the number one performers in the area.
She says the franchise is active in renting and buy-to-let investors should notethe market is improving, with the average rent for freestanding homes now being ± R5 000 per month.
She adds that there has been a steady, discernible pick-up in the residential property market in Parow and she is confident it will continue and will result in local agencies having to double their sales force.
With the trend moving upward, Van den Bergh says they are on the lookout for new agents, but warns they must be prepared to complete a full year's NQF4 training and attend all of Rawson's training sessions, which she believes "give agents a very definite competitive edge in the market.”
Elmira van den Bergh has seven years’ experience in property selling in Moscow, where she ran her own highly successful agency. She says the Russian sales experience benefited her well and the difference from South Africa being that area is far more important here than it is in Russia. The basic quality of the home itself is the deciding factor in most cases for Moscow buyers – as there is far less difference between “good” and “less good” areas there.
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