Roger Mortlock, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for Douglasdale and its surrounding areas (which include parts of Fourways, Norscot and Jukskei Park) recently went public with a statement that, although the property investing public is only becoming aware of the fact now, a total transformation is taking place in Jukskei Park – and, he added, this is working very much to the advantage of those buyers spotting the trend and investing now.
“Only a few years ago,” said Mortlock, “Jukskei Park’s image was that of an area in which crime was rampant and a fair number of the 1,700 homes (which are mostly single storey free standing houses on their own erven) were down at heel and in need of an upgrade.”
“However, all that began to change around three and a half years ago when bodies representing the local residents teamed up with the police and a private enterprise security company, RRS, to bring about change. This team work has proved to be highly effective in bringing about positive change.”
At roughly the same time, said Mortlock, a new wave of buyers began to move into the precinct, intent on upgrading their houses. This, he said, has had a marked effect.
“I can point to numerous houses that have recently been improved. This works to the benefit of the owners because they can, with a renovation investment of say R300,000, easily add a much larger value to their home. We have seen houses bought for R1,5 million selling only a few years later for R2,5 million.”
“The trend also, however, works to the benefit of new buyers because they can now move into a home which is chic, efficient, modern and attractive in a way that very few Jukskei Park (or Douglasdale for that matter) traditional homes were previously. Jukskei Park is also more attractively priced than nearby areas such as Douglasdale and Fourways.”
“Not surprisingly, therefore, we are finding that homes in Jukskei Park often sell faster than those priced at the same level in Douglasdale. We are also seeing homes here sell for over R2 million, which would have been impossible a few years ago.
“This year,” said Mortlock, “we have had 21 sales in Jukskei Park which is an estimated 70% market share for the area. We have also been greatly encouraged because the banks are approving around 70% of bond applications in the area and we have had a few 100% bond grants. It is now evident that the banks are seeing increased value in Jukskei Park.”
About 15% of the Rawson Property Group’s clients in this area, he said, are now buy-to-let investors, many undertaking renovations in the way described. The Douglasdale team work closely with renovators, advising them, from their sales experience, which new features appeal most to potential buyers.
Mortlock founded the Rawson Property Group’s Douglasdale franchise six years ago. Now employing four agents and working from offices in the Design Quarter’s Business Centre, he has been able to achieve a 46% increase in his turnover in the last year.
In view of the on-going demand in the area and the total lack of new land for development at Jukskei Park, he is now predicting that year-on-year price rises at Jukskei Park will be in the region of 7%.
“The only factors holding us back from rapid growth in this area are stock shortages and the high percentage of bond applicants (currently around 30% of the total) who have their applications rejected, often despite a valiant attempt to pre-qualify.”
“I have,” said Mortlock, “always had a deep faith in Douglasdale and its surrounds. This is based on the area’s track record – despite the severity of the recent recession there has only been one year – 2009 – where we saw negative growth in this precinct. This is an excellent place for a property investment.”