Areas and Places

Proper pricing puts the punch back into Midrand's property sales

This three-bedroom, 2,5-bathroom home in Halfway Gardens is for sale through RealNet Midrand Core for R1,75m. It also has a modern open-plan kitchen, three additional living areas, a covered patio with built-in braai, covered balcony and an automated double-garage.

A healthy dose of realism has set in among property sellers in the northern parts of Midrand, and sales volumes are now increasing steadily as a result.

That’s the word from Emma Ledwaba, owner of the RealNet Midrand Core franchise that recently expanded to include these areas. “For at least two years, asking prices in these densely populated parts of Midrand were generally being set much too high”.

“This was largely due to the many inexperienced agents operating in the area misleading sellers into thinking that they could get more for their homes than the market was actually prepared to pay. New agents often choose Midrand as their first territory because of the large volume of sectional title units, the perception being that it is easier to operate in a high-density area and that buyers here will not be particularly well-informed either.”

“But the fact is that unrealistically high asking prices just lead to a lot of unsold stock, and that sellers have to lower their expectations for sales to start moving again. This is what has happened now – and business is already picking up really well.”

She says this applies particularly to suburbs such as Noordwyk and Blue Hills, where the dominant accommodation types are sectional title complexes and affordable housing. “As South Africans are bombarded by rising living costs, so the demand for affordable homes in areas close to transport and employment nodes rises.

“And Midrand ticks many boxes for many types of buyer by providing centrally located, compact and secure accommodation, not only for the newly employed and newly urbanised but also for those downsizing to more secure and manageable homes and for those relocating from other provinces to work at one of the many companies in Midrand.”

Indeed, Ledwaba notes, a recent study by property data company Lightstone found that there has been a 550% increase in the number of sectional title properties in Midrand in the past 15 years, and predicted that the area would become one of the most densely populated in SA over the next 30 years.

Currently, she says, most buyers in the northern suburbs are career singles or couples with a household income of R15 000 to R17 000 and apartments in the R380 000 to R600 000 price range are selling fastest, although there is good demand for most homes priced at less than R1m.

“The majority of my sales in these areas are in existing complexes like Willow Crest, where a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit can be purchased for R400 000, and Hill of Good Hope, where the price of a two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit is upwards of R750 000. The north has very few estates, but it is possible to purchase an estate home here for around R3,5m, which is good value compared to an average of around R7m in Midrand’s southern suburbs.”

“We are currently also marketing starter homes in a new gated estate close to Vodaworld and the still-to-be-completed Blue Hills Shopping Centre. Named Coral Wood Village, this offers full-title homes on 400sqm stands at prices from R1,7m and R2,5m. There are also plans in place to build 300 sectional title units in the estate.”