In October this year Adelaide Wildschut, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for the small Cape Flats village of Macassar (total population ± 48,000), will be celebrating 39 years of residence in the village. On 1st May 2015, she will have 20 years’ experience as an estate agent with the Rawson Property Group – serving the area as an employee of the Rawson Property Group’s Somerset West franchise for six years and the past 13 years as a franchisee for the Macassar franchise.
The residential area of Macassar is in fact, only about 43 years old. When Wildschut first moved into the village, it had no running water, no electricity and no sewerage network. In 1976, the council started building flats, semi-detached and free standing houses. All the houses were low cost and consisted of two and three bedrooms and were all on a rent to buy contract. The houses could be bought after 30 years of paying rental, the rent being converted into the full purchase sum and the new owner then paying only the transfer fee.
Today there are thousands of freestanding homes in the area including the northern outer line which make an attractive sight from the N2 freeway to Somerset West.
Prices, said Wildschut, have risen slowly and steadily over the years (she estimates the rise so far this year to be ± 3%), but Macassar still provides the ultimate in housing value per square metre. Most of the houses sold here are in the R280,000 to R650,000 price bracket. Standard two bedroom homes can sell for up to R330,000 and three bedroom houses are selling at R380,000 and above. The popular homes, added Wildschut, are in the R350,000 to R450,000 bracket.
Macassar certainly has its charms: it is spacious, well laid out (most of the homes have gardens) and it is one of the most peaceful villages in Greater Cape Town. Its crime rate is, in fact, lower, said Wildschut, than that of nearby Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay and in addition it has its own good schools, both primary and secondary, as well as efficient transport to other schools.
This franchise is now about to enter a new lease of life because it has the sole mandate for selling 53 homes in the new development, Macassar Village Estate. The prices here range from R396,000 for a two bedroom home to R429,000 for a three bedroom home and R472,000 for a three bedroom with main en-suite. All these homes will have an impressive range of good finishes, with the buyer able, in many cases, to choose the colours themselves. The bedrooms will have laminated wood flooring, the living areas will be tiled, the windows will be aluminium framed and all the homes will have built-in cupboards with a fitted kitchen, blinds, burglar bars, safety gates, a starter garage and an enclosed backyard. Units could rent at R3,100 to R3,500 per month.
The builders are using a revolutionary innovation incorporating quickly erected, easily placed interlocking blocks. This system, therefore, makes it possible to erect large pieces of wall swiftly and without complication. The building method has been approved by the SABS and the NHBRC.
Almost half of the development is already sold out and it will take them less than three months to sell all the remainder – because the demand, she said, is definitely there.
In the conventional second-hand market, said Wildschut, any correctly priced home normally sells within two weeks and her team has, in recent months, been selling between four and six of these per month. The big challenge in the next few months will be to improve the ‘education’ of potential bond applicants who tend to be financially unsophisticated and do not reveal their full financial position to the estate agents’, with the inevitable result that other debts and expenses are eventually detected on their bank statements and their bonds are then rejected. This process will, however, be greatly assisted by the fact that Rawson Finance is able to assist applicants at Macassar with pre-qualification for bonds.