Property 24/10 - 449

Soweto’s property market is experiencing a boom
A shortage of suitable stock - especially of freestanding homes priced below R500 000 - is the only factor that is holding back Soweto’s property market at the moment.

Khosi Sibiya and Phindile Mphahlele, Managing Directors at Seeff’s new branch in Soweto, say even though Soweto is sometimes still perceived as an area that offers mainly low-cost housing, this is not the case anymore.

“Soweto has 37 suburbs, and there are some truly remarkable property opportunities in many of them. Additionally, there is still a lot of opportunity for development, which means that property values in Soweto are continuously on the rise.”

Stabilising SA property market but sellers have to drop their price
Estate agents' perceptions in the first quarter of the year reveal a “stabilising” residential property market in South Africa, although still favouring buyers with a marginal rise in the percentage of sellers having to drop their asking price in order to sell.

These were findings from FNB’s first-quarter 2019 Estate Agent’s Survey, which indicated 95.3% of all sellers had to drop their asking price, slightly up from up from 94.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Spot these bad neighbourhood signs when buying property
Proximity, price and security have become such big factors in the choice of home that it is easy to miss some warning signs that should make you think twice before signing a sale agreement.

This is according to Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterBond, national bond originator, who says modern life is fast paced and complicated, and buyers tend to concentrate on finding homes that are affordable, secure and as close to work and school as possible, but they do need to be aware of some pitfalls that could have a very negative effect on the value of their investment.

These include negative environmental factors, local infrastructure that is not in great shape and sometimes, rules made by a body corporate or homeowners’ association that won’t suit their personal lifestyle, says Botha.

Sellers, don’t ‘flip’ over a low offer - you’re still a winner
When your house has been on the market for quite a while and you have already dropped your initial asking price, it can come as quite a shock to get an offer to purchase for even less than the reduced amount.

“But before you get angry and reject the offer out of hand as being insulting, you should try to remember that you actually just won a sort of lottery, because out of all the homes currently on the market, these buyers decided to make an offer on your property,” says Gerhard Kotzé, MD of the RealNet estate agency group.

“Before that happened, they very likely did their own market research, got bond approval for a certain amount, and visited and compared several homes for sale in the correct price range, and now all they are trying to do is buy the home they liked the most (yours), for the lowest price possible.”

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