“Properties under R2 million are selling quickly, and yet properties over R5 million, in secure estates, are not standing still neither. If anything the middle market is quieter at the moment,” explains Silvana dos Reis Marques, Manager of Leapfrog Property Group Pretoria East.
Pretoria East is quite a large area consisting of a number of suburbs (ranging from mid-to-upper market) including Hatfield, Die Wilgers, Brooklyn, Faerie Glen, Garsfontein, Lynnwood and Silver Lakes Estate.
According to dos Reis Marques, most of the buyers in the under R 2 million market are first time buyers while those buying in the R5 million and over market are upgrading. The trend in first-time buying is underscored by the 2nd quarter 2017 FNB Gauteng Sub-Region House Price Indices which indicates that the Tswhane metro has been undergoing a gradual real house price correction since the beginning of 2008. Prices have declined to the tune of -1.8% year-on-year – making the area more accessible to first time buyers.
The FNB House Price Indices also reveals that Tswhane has continued to show estimated levels of 1st time home buying to be above the national average. For the first two quarters of 2017, first time buyers were estimated at 21.8% in Tshwane, the National Average being slightly lower at 21%.
Major new developments on the cards
Baldwin Properties has partnered with Crystal Lagoons to create a R4.2 billion residential development in Pretoria East to be called The Blyde in Riverwalk Estate. The development will feature beaches, a pedestrian promenade and exclusive club houses for residents.
An even more ambitious project is Hazeldean, also known as The East Capital, which is a R44 billion development due for completion by 2020. Hazeldean has been envisioned as a self-sufficient work, play and live eco-friendly suburban precinct. The master plan includes a mall, schools, hospitals and a number of residential complexes.
“These developments will certainly attract more investment (both residential and commercial) to the area and it will most likely boost house prices over the next decade or so,” believes dos Reis Marques.
Improved public transport
According to the Gautrain Management Agency, it is planning to extend the rail route by 150 kilometres over the next twenty years, including routes through Randburg, Fourways and Soweto. A proposed new line will connect Mamelodi (Irene) with the current network, branching off from Sandton, Randburg, Cosmo City, the Cradle of Human Kind and Lanseria.
Pretoria’s Bus Rapid Transport System – A Re Yeng – which was introduced in 2014 – has also done much to improve transport in and around Tshwane. Dos Reis Marques notes that a number of businesses have opened along the bus routes as accessibility improved.
Don’t overestimate your property value
“While the new property developments and the proposed improvement of public transport will likely have a good impact on property prices in Pretoria East in the long run, we’re finding that sellers are assuming that buyers will pay unrealistic prices for homes”, says dos Reis Marques, “Buyers are very savvy and a house that’s not priced properly won’t sell. My advice to sellers remains to ask the advice of a qualified estate agent in terms of getting a realistic valuation.”
Dos Reis Marques also advises first time buyers to get pre-approval for a home loan before house hunting; “Knowing what you can afford, and importantly how much a bank is willing to loan you, will save a lot of time when it comes to buying your first property – there’s no point in making an offer on a property you can’t possibly afford. So do your homework before you start doing the legwork.”