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Market is attractive for those looking to buy below R1.5m

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A buyer's market is the perfect scenario for anyone wanting to enter the property market.

Even with the general uncertainty in the country, wannabe homeowners could not be more certain about investing in the property market. Properties are plentiful and buyers are few, says Bryan Biehler, director and co-owner of Huizemark.

“This environment results in lower offers from potential buyers and increased competition in the marketplace.” This scenario is particularly positive for buyers looking to purchase homes below R1.5million, and with the recent interest rate decrease and further deductions anticipated, more people are qualifying for bonds and stimulating the market.

“A total of 66% of our sales over the last 12 months were to people qualifying for 100% bonds, and 58% of all sales were for properties priced at less than R1.5m.”

Biehler anticipates the market will stay relatively stable with a possibility of a slightly improved number of transactions, but suspects the downward pressure on prices will continue as the supply continues to increase. “Prices will continue stabilising in areas where buyers are king.”

There is a “good share” of entry level properties available in Claremont and Kenilworth, especially apartments, says Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Marc Plastow. Muizenberg offers “the most affordable houses in the southern suburbs”, notes Rawson’s Errol King.

He says people buy homes in areas for many reasons, although affordability is a major drawcard for first-time buyers.

“In later years schools become a key factor, or proximity to parents who will assist with babysitting.” Many first-time buyers are purchasing homes that have easy access to business districts and necessary amenities. Greeff’s Tim Greeff is seeing major demand for property in Ottery, Plumstead, Wynberg and Kenilworth, all of which are close to the M5. The western seaboard is also popular with firsttime buyers, especially Parklands and Sunningdale.

“These areas have fairly expansive properties for a reasonable price so it’s even better value for money.” Woodstock and the Cape Town CBD are also favoured by first-time buyers, says Greeff director in the City Bowl and on the Atlantic and western seaboards, Ryan Greeff.

“Depending on which area you choose and where you work, you are travelling against traffic either way. Sectional titles in Parklands and Table View are popular among first-time buyers because of prices starting at R700 000.”

Re/Max’s Darrelle Visser Scheepers says firsttime buyers in Saldanha and Vredenburg are looking for smaller homes or lock-up-and-go units in security estates. There is also a trend towards people looking for dual living, says Jill Lloyd, area specialist in Claremont and Clarepark for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

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