The ten year old Rawson Property Group Grassy Park/Retreat franchise, which is now run by Lorenzo Jardine, son of the franchise’s founder, Martha Jardine, has had record sales in September, October and November and in November the record was, in fact, reached before the 15th of the month.
Although sales figures remain confidential, his franchise’s turnover, said Jardine, is at least 60% up year-on-year – and is set for further rises.
“This,” he said, “should tell prospective buyers/investors something about how lively the market here has become. In every way, we are now a high demand area. The centrality of our suburbs, our closeness to the CBD (30 minutes away by railway line and by car out of rush hour) and the affordability of our homes have made this one of the most sought after residential nodes in the entire Cape Peninsula.”
The big demand right now, said Jardine, is for homes in the R600,000 to R900,000 bracket, preferably in Retreat or Grassy Park. However, he said, as his area of operation covers Lotus River, Ottery, Steenberg, Lakeview, Seawinds (a division of Retreat), Wetton and Zeekoevlei, his and other local franchises can, in fact, offer sectional title homes priced from R200,000 to R500,000 and freehold units from around R200,000 to R3 million. One of the most attractive homes he has recently sold, said Jardine, has been a R2 million, five bedroom, double storey home on the water at Zeekoevlei. This franchise has other homes in Grassy Park priced from R1,200,000 to R1,650,000, which, he said, will prove to be excellent buys because already price escalations are just as evident in the higher bracket homes as in the more affordable ones.
“Throughout our area,” said Jardine, “but particularly in Retreat and Grassy Park, stock shortages are now being experienced and we are having to advertise, distribute pamphlets and telecanvas on an on-going basis to keep stock levels at around 20 – which is half of what they were at two years ago.”
Asked what conclusions potential buyers should come to in the light of these facts, Jardine said, “the answer is quite simple: if you do not buy now, you will pay far more in the future. At this stage, with interest still so low, I can see no reason why prices should not continue to rise steadily”.
Another good reason for buying now, said Jardine, is that the banks are showing a friendlier attitude to bond applicants, only one in five of whom from this area is now rejected. Amazingly, this includes significant numbers who applied for 100% and 108% bonds (i.e. those bonds which include all transfer and registration costs).
On the rental front, said Jardine, demand is now even stronger than in the sales market. His franchise manages 45 rental units and whenever a new unit comes on the market it is signed for within a week. Furthermore, rentals are rising by some 10% per annum and are currently priced from R2,200 to 5,500 per month, with the big demand being around R3,500.
“This, of course, makes Grassy Park, like so many other Cape Peninsula suburbs, another great buy-to-rent area, a fact which investors are becoming increasingly aware of,” said Jardine.