In the 2009 to 2011 economic downturn, the Brakpan residential property market proved to be one of the least resilient and suffered severely, says Hanna Stoltz, Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s Brakpan franchise, which is owned by Ilana Kruger and Nolene Bruwer. Now, however, she says, the situation is changing rapidly and many sellers are inclined to think that the market is turning in their favour.
“This perception,” says Stoltz, “is, in fact, valid, but sellers have to be warned now against over-optimism and overpricing – at the moment the price rises are below 5% per annum. In today’s market overpriced homes will still stick on the stock list.”
If, however, the home is correctly priced, says Stoltz, her team of six will usually sell it within a week and on more than one occasion they have sold homes within 48 hours of their being listed. In the very worst scenario, she says, a home that is correctly priced will always sell within one month.
Although there are more expensive homes in the Brakpan suburbs like Dalpark (where they can be priced at up to R1,5 million), Brenthurst (R600,000 to R1 million), Kenleas (R1 million upwards) and Sonneveld, the majority of today’s buyers, says Stoltz, are looking for homes in the R400,000 to R700,000 range – and both Brakpan Central and Brakpan North as well as much of Springs have a great many homes in this price category, 80% of which are freehold. The sectional title units, she says, are mostly found in the expensive areas.
Generally speaking, she adds, in the expensive areas, homes which are still being listed by her franchise sell slowly, but Stoltz believes that this will change by the year end.
Brakpan and Springs buyers today have often been transferred to this area by the companies that employ them. For example, Consol Glass transferred a great many people from its Pretoria factory, when it closed down, to its Nigel factory and there have been other instances of this type of population movement.
The new franchise, having been in operation only since 1st July 2013, is already selling six or seven properties per month and has been commended by Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, for a very successful start-up. As it is still finding its feet, the franchise has as not yet entered the rental market but it plans to do so in the not-too-distant future, says Stoltz, because the demand for rental properties is even stronger here than for sold property and rents are rising at ± 10% per annum.
“This, of course, makes our area an ideal hunting ground for buy-to-let investors and we do have a fair number of these on our client list,” says Stoltz.
Pledging her team to on-going client service, Stoltz says that hers is and will remain one of the few agencies in the area to take calls seven days a week and at almost any time that suits the client.