Gauteng’s housing market is the busiest in the country currently and first-home buyers and young professionals are making the most of the comparatively affordable property prices, says Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond.
Recent data from Lightstone (February 2022) shows that Gauteng enjoyed the most property activity last year, falling just short of transaction volumes last seen in 2018. With 129 960 property transactions recorded in 2021, the province convincingly outperformed the Western Cape, which recorded 76 941 transactions last year. “Not only is Gauteng the country’s economic hub, with employment and investment opportunities, but property prices are more accessible - particularly for younger and first-home buyers,” says Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond. “While the upper price bands are starting to outperform the lower price bands in many regions, in Gauteng the activity is mainly in the R1.2 million price range, suggesting that younger or new buyers are driving momentum.”
The surge in buyer activity in this province is reflected in BetterBond’s home loan registration volumes for the six month period ending in November 2021. Bond registrations for Johannesburg South East alone, increased by 24.63%. “This was largely because of the registration of several new developments in the area,” said Coetzee. Johannesburg South East includes the East Rand and suburbs of Kempton Park and Benoni.
BetterBond’s acting Regional Manager for Johannesburg South East, Jurie Hamel said new developments, with properties priced between R750 000 and R1.2 million, sold out quickly. “This reflects Lightstone’s findings that much of the growth in the last year has been in the R700 000 to R1.2 million price range. BetterBond’s average bond size for properties in this area is about R1 million, adds Hamel. “It is therefore not surprising that there has been a 10% increase in bond applications from first-home buyers in Johannesburg SE, for the 12 months ending in January 2022, suggesting that low interest rates and accessible property prices in this area make it possible for new entrants to the property market,” says Coetzee.
Overall, Gauteng offers a better value proposition, says Coetzee. Market value data from TPN shows that the average value of a freehold home in the City of Cape Town is R2.36 million, compared with R1.6 million in the City of Johannesburg.
When it comes to sectional title property, the City of Tshwane is slightly more expensive at an average value of R1.05 million, compared with the R1 million you will pay in the City of Johannesburg, notes Coetzee. “However, these still compare favourably with the City of Cape Town where the average value of a sectional title unit is R1.5 million.”
While there has been renewed semigration movement from Gauteng to other parts of the country, particularly the coastal regions of the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, there are still plenty of investment opportunities in Gauteng, says Coetzee. “With many companies adopting a hybrid working model, buyers are once again considering the benefits of working close to work and transport hubs.”
Writer : BetterBond