Demand in Wapadglen supports price growth

Strong demand for homes in security complexes in Pretoria's eastern suburbs has supported considerable price escalation over the past 12 months.

Average prices have grown between 7 and 10%, says Nelis Bezuidenhout, owner of the RealNet Wapadglen franchise, which specialises in units in secure complexes.

"Price growth is largely attributable to strong demand for these units among professionals but the fact that local buyers easily qualified for loans made a significant contribution to a lively market. About 95% of all loan applications by our clients were approved and in some cases banks approved 100% bonds."

Buyers now exceed sellers in his areas but even in the face of stock shortages, qualified buyers are well-informed and ignore over-priced properties. Well-priced properties, however, receive multiple offers and are generally sold within a week of listing, he says.

"It is becoming a challenge to source stock. Many prospective sellers in our areas are looking to buy new homes locally, and tend to hold on to their existing properties until they have found a new home to buy, Bezuidenhout says. “Our best performance for the past year with regard to unit sales was in October, when we sold nearly 30% more units than average, and that was the happy result of having enough stock on our books to satisfy demand."

Most current buyers are young entrants to the market, slightly older buyers upgrading to larger units and retirees scaling down to lock-up-and-go units, he says.

New entrants target properties in the R560 000 to R650 000 price range and there is strong demand among buyers who are upgrading for homes priced at up to R1,4m.

Bezuidenhout expects current trends to continue this year. He says it is encouraging that developers are now starting to research market trends to establish which type of units are in demand.

"The signs are there that we can expect new development in the area, and although there is very little development land left in our franchise area, new development in surrounding areas will alleviate stock pressures."

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