Macassar, the small suburb sited 12 km from Somerset West in Cape Town, just south of the N2 freeway, is about to get a new housing development that, says Adelaide Wildschut, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for the area, is ideally designed and priced for the local market.
To be known as ‘Macassar Village Estates’, this development will consist of 54 homes in four floor sizes: 47 m2, 57 m2, 65 m2 and 73 m2. The homes will all have mono pitched roofs and two or three bedrooms. Communal and bathroom areas will be tiled and purchasers can choose between laminated wood or carpeted floors in the bedrooms. The sales price includes a stove in every unit, built-in cupboards in the bedrooms, blinds, burglar bars and safety gates on the external doors. Each unit will have a ‘starter garage’, the remainder of which can be added to each unit for a small extra cost.
All homes are freestanding and on their own plots.
The prices, which vary from R320,000 to R448,000, are ‘amazingly low’ in today’s market and almost without equal anywhere in the Cape, says Wildschut.
This, she says, means that the majority of buyers will have to be earning a combined family income of at least R9,500 per month and she anticipates that nearly all the purchasers will be applying for 100% bonds.
The Rawson Property Group is the only agency involved in this development and they expect to be sold out before the end of the year. Macassar, which is sometimes referred to as the Cape’s ‘sleepy hollow’, has always had a very active home sales market, says Wildschut – and the main reason for this is simply affordability: prices here are very seldom above R550,000 and can go as low as R100,000. Furthermore, she says, the area has both primary and secondary schools, an old age home, clinic, a few sports facilities and retail centres.
A flourishing taxi industry ensures that residents can reach Somerset West, Strand, the Rheinmetall Denel Munition factory and various transport depots relatively easily.
Demand has recently been strong enough to ensure that the Rawson Property Group, on average, sells four to six homes each month.
“As always in the low cost market,” says Wildschut, “the big challenge is to get bonds for our buyers, especially those needing 100% bonds. With the help of Rawson Finance, we are currently achieving a 60% success rate – but it has to be said that the credit record ‘blemishes’, which can cause a bond to be denied, can be very minor indeed and quite often simply the result of a moment of forgetfulness rather than a deliberate unwillingness to pay.”
The large number of people unable to obtain bonds has boosted the Macassar rental market and monthly rents can vary from R2,000 to R6,000, the average being around R2,900. The number of buy-to-let investors in the area is quite small at the moment but is steadily increasing, says Wildschut.