It may come as a surprise to most, and even to some of the Cape’s more experienced property watchers, that for the last few years Athlone, Ottery, Grassy Park and Lower Wynberg have become high demand areas. This was said recently by Georgina and Andrea Lovell, the Rawson Property Group’s co-franchisees for these territories.
Despite the strong demand, said Georgina Lovell, prices have hardly risen as yet, even though the move into these more desirable precincts continues.
Fifty percent of her buyers, she said, tend to focus on the middle bracket homes such as those valued at R350,000 to R800,000 in Athlone, R600,000 to R1,2 million in Ottery, R450,000 to R900,000 in Lower Wynberg (where the big demand is for apartments of around R550,000) and from R 500,000 to R900,000 in Grassy Park, where the Lovells share the territory with another Rawson Property Group franchisee pair, Lorenzo and Celeste Jardine.
Sales this year have, said the Lovells, been consistently good, averaging eight per month. Predictably, however, this has begun to cause stock shortages and in an all-out effort to counter these they have been advertising and canvassing more extensively and they have also been focusing more on their rental operation, where they have some 30 units in their portfolio. Here landlords are now, said Georgina Lovell, also benefiting from greatly improved demand — rentals being anything from R3,500 to R11,000 per month, which compares favourably with the lower priced units in some of the more affluent suburbs up the line.
The franchise runs an in-house incentive programme for its estate agents, giving them R100 and R200 Pick ‘n Pay shopping vouchers for the first new mandate secured each week and for the first property sold each week.
Given the high demand, the Lovells are predicting that price rises will become evident in the near future. Among those moving into the area are a great many young couples, many of whom are highly qualified and earning salaries that seem very high to their forebears and parents. Such people are pushing up prices because they can definitely afford today’s prices.