Centurion: The point of progress and passion

Private Property South Africa
Adrian Goslett

The Centurion property market is expected to grow over the next few years as the Gautrain and the newly upgraded highways make this beautiful and safe area more accessible to people who work as far afield as Midrand and Johannesburg.

In addition, the newly planned Convention Centre in the area is expected to positively impact property values. “The property market has shown growth over the past seven months, and we expect a steady positive growth for the next three to five years,” says Nic van den Berg of RE/MAX Jowic. “While the market growth is still far off the levels we experienced three years ago, and are unlikely to see ever again, there are signs of stock shortages in certain market segments. This is due to the fact that there are currently no new developments in the sectional or full title markets. Prices will start to escalate once the current supply levels diminish.”

The RE/MAX Jowic team has specialised in property sales in the Centurion area over the past five years, and has recently opened an office in Pretoria East. “I am very passionate about property and about the property market in Centurion in particular,” says van den Berg, who has 30 years of experience in the property field and opened the first Jowic office in Lynnwood Glen Pretoria in 1995. “Despite the inevitable downturns that we’ve experienced before, I still believe that property is the best investment you can make. Property prices will never decrease in normal markets. The lesson to be learnt from the downturns is to put something away for a rainy day. I am also confident that the property markets will grow positively through to 2014.”

Van den Berg says although it is difficult to calculate profit margins accurately given the changes in market conditions over the last few months, he believes that sellers in the Centurion area have made a reasonable or fair profit in recent months and will remain doing so in the future. The current average price for an entry-level property in Centurion is around R450 000. Mid-level property prices average R850 000, while more expensive properties are priced at R2,5-million and above. “There are properties in the upper-market segment that are currently overpriced and these sellers will have to wait until the banks have relaxed their credit criteria before demand for these properties will pick up. Currently, our cash buyers are looking for better priced homes,” explains van den Berg. “There is also still a good supply of land available as builders remain constrained by the availability of loans, and land prices have not increased over the last 24 months.”

Despite the recent challenging market conditions and the significant reduction in the number of estate agents in South Africa, RE/MAX Jowic is growing from strength to strength and remains a leader in the Centurion property market. Their sales force has grown by more than 100% from 37 in October 2009 to 77 in April 2010. “Our aim is to grow our office to 100 full time sales associates, which will translate into more than 120 property sales per month,” says van den Berg.

Their success may in part be due to the passion with which RE/MAX Jowic is operated. Van den Berg was awarded the RE/MAX Passion Award 2009 for the RE/MAX member with the most positive outlook on life in general recently. “I am fortunate to have won many awards during my 15 years with RE/MAX and every award has made me more aware that South Africa is a country offering many opportunities to grow. The successful RE/MAX business model, the support they provide and our strong internal leadership within RE/MAX Jowic ensure that homeowners who buy a property through us can be assured of the quality advice and excellent service they expect when making this important and substantial investment,” concludes van den Berg.

Peter Gilmour, Chairman of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, added that Nic and his team in Centurion have given a consistently high level of service to buyers and sellers in the area. “They have built a strong and dependable reputation which is a model for real estate offices in the country. They epitomise the RE/MAX ethos of premier market presence that is present in over 80 countries around the world,” Gilmour said.

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