23 Aug 2013
Recent testimonies from Johannesburg estate agencies operating on the northern and western sides say there has been a noticeable reversal of negative trends in the property sector since late last year.
Such trends, it is said, have given way to a slow but steady growth in values and sales prices achieved.
“Since the start of the recession in 2008 most properties in our areas dropped by around 15 percent in value. Those in the top brackets lost most with those in the more affordable areas dropping far less," says Shutte.
Now, she says the downward trend is a thing of the past as prices in Ruimsig have stabilised and have begun to rise at 2 to 3 percent year-on-year.
Furthermore, in view of the strong ongoing demand in virtually all price brackets, she is now confident that this upward movement will continue.
She says in Ruimsig itself, 80 percent of the demand is for units in the R800 000 to R2.2 million bracket. However, throughout the greater Ruimsig precinct, which includes Amorosa, Willowbrook, Poortview, part of Little Falls and Très Jolie, the area offers homes from R800 000, such as a bachelor pad in Amorosa, to R18 million for a 2ha smallholding with a large upmarket home in Poortview. "The decline in prices is now definitely over.”
Schutte adds that sellers have picked up the new confidence in the market and are now less likely to negotiate on prices to the same extent that they did previously.
Also now aware of the turnaround is the area's growing band of buy-to-let investors, who, as in the old days, are now looking to build up portfolios, usually of three to six units, she says. Ruimsig has a special division shared with other franchisees of this management team, to administer landlords’ properties for them, if they so wish. This division is situated at their North Riding office.
Schutte says apart from the wide range in property prices (the vast majority of homes remain affordable by South African middle class standards), the main attraction of the area is its rural atmosphere.
Bounded on one side by farms, it has hills, rivers, kloofs and waterfalls, and the open areas are complemented by a golf course and sports fields. Ruimsig also has excellent schools such as Maragon High School, Trinity House and Monash University.
She says adding to the area’s appeal are top range retail centres and it is worth noting that the new 75 000 square metreCradlestone Mall, funded by the Sasol Pension Fund and Retail Africa, is nearing completion. This will be one of the most upmarket malls in South Africa and is bound to raise the profile of the area in the same way as other major retail centres have done elsewhere.
Schutte says there could never be a better time to buy or sell in the area than now. She assures sellers that if the price is market related, the home will sell within eight weeks on average and buyers can now buy knowing that the value of their investment will steadily appreciate over the next few years.
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