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RE/MAX opens up another 2 offices

27 May 2010
Two new RE/MAX offices, named RE/MAX Gold, have opened in Rustenburg and Pretoria North.

These offices will specifically be servicing the affordable housing sector of the property market.

Douglas Ravenscroft, who was crowned as “Broker/owner of the Year 2009” for a single office at the RE/MAX awards breakfast earlier this year, is behind the helm of these offices as broker/owner. His RE/MAX Platinum franchise will continue to service the traditional home buyers and sellers in the Rustenburg area.

Ravenscroft believes that the affordable housing market segment needs a dedicated and specialised real estate presence, hence the opening of the two RE/MAX Gold offices. “Agencies operating in this real estate environment need to work on a very different model to the traditional market,” says Ravenscroft.

“This is because the affordable housing sector requires a different business model and skills set compared to the traditional market. A large percentage of these buyers and sellers have not previously been exposed to property ownership and therefore don’t know where to start. The whole process has to be explained in detail and so client education forms the basis of our service offering.”

Aside from a lack of property trading knowledge, mortgage finance is one of the biggest restricting factors in this market. Many who fall within the affordable housing category have not managed their finances well and therefore find it difficult, if not impossible, to successfully apply for a home loan.

Ravenscroft notes that around 50% of potential home buyers in the affordable housing sector are listed on ITC and, at the end of the day, he estimates that only 40% of potential buyers on average will be approved for finance. In addition, they will mostly only qualify for 80% home loans and don’t have the means to pay the required 20% deposit.

Ravenscroft says the affordable housing sector is a very specialised market with a unique set of challenges, with the large fallout of potential buyers mainly due to affordability issues. Despite this, the RE/MAX Gold offices are aiming to achieve 100 property transactions per month.

Looking at the affordable housing market as a whole, Ravenscroft says that there is not a big variation in house size. On average, he says, buyers in the affordable market will pay around R500k for a house of approximately 100sqm under roof.

For example, RE/MAX Gold currently has on-site agents who are marketing developments in Marble Hall and Witbank. Ravenscroft says properties in these affordable developments start from R250k for a 40sqm home, and can range up to between R400k and R500k for homes measuring around 108sqm.

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