The Harcourts real estate group has added another franchise to its growing list of franchises in Gauteng with the recent opening of the Harcourts Kempen office in Bedfordview.
Owner Nicholas Kempen has extensive experience in the Bedfordview and Edenvale property markets after a seven-year stint as general manager for another local agency, and he opened Harcourts Kempen with a complement of 10 experienced agents.
"When I decided the time had come for me to strike out on my own, I chose a Harcourts franchise because the group offers excellent support and a platform of top-notch services that allow franchisees to concentrate on what they are good at, namely bringing buyers and sellers together," he says.
He describes the Edenvale market as buoyant, with strong demand for homes among first-time buyers and people who are scaling down and consolidating debt. Buyers from other parts of the country who take up job offers on the East Rand, and buyers from Johannesburg's northern suburbs working in the East Rand's office and industrial nodesare also targeting good value in Edenvale.
"Local home prices hover very close to the countrywide average of around R1,5m for good-size family homes and the area offers an excellent position relative to the international airport and the highway network to Sandton, Johannesburg, Midrand and Pretoria," he says.
Prices for entry-level Edenvale apartments in with two bedrooms and a bathroom start at just under R500 000,while signature homes in luxury, boomed areas such as Dowerglen and Dunvegan sell at prices of up to R4,5m.
Meanwhile Bedfordview, Kempen says, is still widely regarded as a top destination on the East Rand, with the result that home prices here are much higher than neighbouring Edenvale.
However, the suburb does offer a wide range of properties, from established family homes to relatively new cluster and sectional title units. Prices of family homes average R3,25m, and older four-bedroom homes on 1500sqm stands and in good condition are currently in high demand, as are cluster units with three or four bedrooms in the same price category.
One-bedroom townhouses are available from about R1m and such units are popular among parents who buy a first property for children starting their careers, he says.
Large stands in Bedfordview are increasingly being subdivided and many "smart" homes are being designed by top architects for discerning clients. Such homes offer integrated music and entertainment systems, vacuum systems and hi-tech security systems that can all be controlled via smartphone or tablet.
Luxury homes at the top end of this market are priced at up to R30m, and Harcourts Kempen's current listings include a 1200sqm mansion that features six en-suite bedrooms, seven reception rooms, garaging for four cars and spectacular views towards Sandton.
The property, set in 6000sqm of immaculately landscaped gardens, is listed at R30m and Kempen says that as always with such properties, there is avid interest among top mine managers, engineers and company CEOs who want to live close to their head offices on the East Rand.
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