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Young buyers flock to Bloemfontein

02 Aug 2011

Property buyers and particularly young and first time buyers are reportedly finding the city of roses an ideal location to call home.

This five bedroom family home in Fichardtpark inn Bloemfontein in is the market for R1.5 million.

Bloemfontein also known as fountain of flowers in Dutch is the capital city of the Free State province. The city is also the judicial capital of the country which houses The Supreme Court of Appeal.

The city’s Sesotho name Mangaung which means place of cheetahs was included in the Mangaung Local Municipality in 2000. The Free State province also hosted some of the 2010 FIFA World Cup matches at the Free State Stadium.

For property investors and buyers, Bloemfontein presents endless opportunities with a variety of stock to choose from, according to estate agents.

Whether you are looking for an upmarket home, exclusive property, you have just moved into Bloemfontein or thinking of buying, Bloemfontein has properties to suit your taste.

Suburbs including Langenhoven Park, Universitas, Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate, Dan Pienaar, Fichardtpark, Arboretum, The Boulders and Vista Park attract different kinds of buyers with house prices in the range of R800 000 and R1.5 million.

Mike Spencer of Platinum Global says the property market in Bloemfontein continues to be normal after many years of abnormal markets of up and downswings.

“Sales have picked up with mainly the lower end of the market being sold with a sprinkling of other sales taking place,” says Spencer.

He says demand remains strong but the difficulty of getting banks to approve loans and the price level demand by unrealistic sellers remain a challenge.

More affordable housing stock of 400 homes in Vista Park is currently underway. Some of these homes will be sold to would-be buyers while others will be retained as rental stock as there is a growing demand for rental properties.

The majority of buyers in Bloemfontein purchase homes as a primary residence but there is up and coming areas which are proving popular with young buyers, says Hennie Aucamp, area manager for Pam Golding Properties.

 “Properties currently in demand tend to be full title houses priced between R800 000 to R1.2 million,” says Aucamp.

He explains that this is the more affordable price range especially for younger buyers.  However, some buyers in this category battle to get home loans approved without sufficient deposits whereas in the higher price bracket, buyers tend to have enough cash to buy the property outright or put down a reasonable deposit.

“We find that some sellers continue to price their properties unrealistically and some buyers just cannot afford these prices.”

According to Lightstone, in the suburb of Langenhoven Park 30 percent of buyers are aged between 18 and 35 with just over 50 percent of properties priced between R800 000 and R1.5 million sold in the area.

Langenhoven Park is popular among younger buyers and investors in sectional title units as there is high demand for rental properties.

Sectional title properties in Arboretum in Bloemfontein sell for R1.4 million.

Aucamp says another suburb which is a hit with young buyers and investors is Universitas, located close to schools, university, shopping centres and hospitals and with numerous student houses. Here, 38 percent of buyers are aged between 36 and 49 years with the same price bracket as in Langenhoven Park.

 “Another trendy upmarket suburb which appeals to the more affluent younger buyers and investors across the board is Woodland Hills Wildlife Estate.”

This secure suburb with a good mix of properties including sectional title and full title homes and properties within a retirement village has properties priced from R800 000.

“Buyers coming into Bloemfontein or upgrading to bigger properties prefer Dan Pienaar, an older northern suburb with spacious homes on large plots. “

Although the price remains the same as the other two suburbs, buyers in Dan Pienaar are aged between 50 and 64.

Fichardtpark is liked by many young buyers and 45 percent of buyers aged between 36 and 49. Aucamp says homes priced between R800 000 and R1.5 million are in demand as Fichardtpark is conveniently located to good schools, a hospital and shopping centre.

If you are looking for something small and exclusive, look no further than Arboretum. This suburb has 20 full title and 101 sectional title properties and appeals to premium property buyers.

He adds that The Boulders in Bloemfontein is an upmarket development well sought after by young professionals and successful business people wanting the lifestyle. - Denise Mhlanga

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About the Author
Denise Mhlanga

Denise Mhlanga

Property journalist at property24.com

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