With increasing rents property prices in first-tier cities, it is no surprise people want to find more affordable living, says Graig Mott, regional sales manager for the Rawson Property Group.
Second-tier cities may be the answer as not only can they offer lower rent and property prices, but less traffic congestion and improved transportation systems.
“This will contribute to a slight shift in buyer patterns. These shifting patterns are set to create exciting opportunities for owners and investors with a medium to long-term view.”
The rising demand for smaller homes in conveniently located areas creates opportunities for the renewal of older suburbs close to city centres and public transport hubs – and even old industrial and commercial areas where run-down properties can be recycled into decent and affordable accommodation for young first-time buyers and renters, he says.
Should President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans for a smart city in Lanseria be brought to fruition, areas like north-west Johannesburg will become popular as secondary cities.
“Neighbouring areas such as Sandton, Midrand, and Fourways will also benefit from this project as it provides easy access to and from these suburbs. If all goes well, this will be one of the largest and most innovative property developments in South Africa,” Mott says.
The closer you get to the city, the more expensive everything is, from parking to owning or renting a home or office space, says PropertyFox chief executive Crispin Inglis.
“With the market being so flat over the past few years, people can still live and work in the city, but if the market begins to pick up, we will see more businesses looking to move away from the city centre and with that, people will move as well.”
In the Western Cape, the Winelands (Paarl, Stellenbosch and Somerset West) have had plenty of growth in terms of new developments which offer secure living in new, modern and luxury estates, he says.
There has been a lot more residential property development around Stellenbosch in recent years, says Chris Cilliers, chief executive and co-principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Winelands. And there are plans for new development hubs outside the town.
“It’s become difficult to find available development space in the town itself so we are now seeing security estates developed in the outlying areas.”
There has also been a lot of commercial property development in the area, and now, “with little space left, business parks are being developed across the Winelands, particularly between Paarl and Stellenbosch and in the Somerset West area.
“Once business develops in an area, residential growth is stimulated by people wanting to live closer to work. There are also now plans for complete satellite towns where new commercial and residential hubs will develop together and transport hubs will be put in place,” Cilliers says.