The Harcourts estate agency group has added top Bloemfontein agency Bergkruin Properties to its growing list of franchises.
The agency, now trading under the name Harcourts City of Roses, has established itself as one of Bloemfontein’s top real estate agencies, and has served the Bloemfontein market and surrounding towns such as Brandfort, Trompsburg and Dewetsdorp, since 2001.
However, says franchise owner, Barry Spies, the time had come to join a national group with proven systems and a world-wide referral network. “Remaining competitive and successful as an independent agency in today’s milieu necessitates outside expertise, especially related to increasingly complicated legislation and regulation, and I foresee that this will become more onerous for independents in future.”
As a former chairman of the Institute of Estate Agents in the Free State and Northern Cape region, he says, he has first-hand experience of just how much help real estate practitioners…
Among the millions of tributes being made to former President Nelson Mandela today are the following from some of SA’s real estate leaders:
*“It is a very sad day for South Africa, but I hope that South Africans will unite in Mr Mandela’s memory to re-ignite his dream of a truly democratic country at peace with itself.” – Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty in SA.
*“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr Mandela. He was a shining beacon for his people, an example of forgiveness, love and humility. One of his many statements that strikes a chord with me is that ‘as people can learn to hate, so can they learn to love, as love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite’. I think that we should always be focused on displaying love, not hate, towards our fellow man and in our group…
Lifestyle estates around the Roodeplaat Dam north of Pretoria offer a diverse choice of properties in a typical bushveld setting and a new private school is proving to be a strong draw card for family buyers.
“Interest in estate homes in this area escalated sharply after a Curro private school opened its doors here two years ago, says Derick Grobbelaar, owner of the Harcourts Zambezi franchise, which serves the area north of the Magaliesberg, including the suburbs of Montana Park, Montana, Sinoville, Magalieskruin, Doornpoort, Anlinn,Wonderboom and Pretoria North.
“A local school is attractive to prospective buyers who want to live a secluded lifestyle on the edge of the metropolis, yet do not want to spend hours ferrying children to and from school. Enrolment in the school, which offers primary and secondary education, is now at capacity and we are currently negotiating the sale of new premises for a…
Just about everyone knows that the three most important features a property can have are location, location and location – but most people are much less certain about what makes a particular location good or even great.
“And there are several key elements,” says Richard Gray, CEO of the Harcourts Real Estate group, “but these days, it all really starts with safety. People naturally prefer to live where there is little or no crime. They want to feel safe in their homes and will pay a premium for this, which is why homes in gated estates and boomed-off streets generally fetch higher prices than similar properties elsewhere – and appreciate at a faster rate too.”
You can tell when you’re looking at properties in a safe neighbourhood, he says, because residents will feel free to walk around, take part in outdoor activities and interact with their neighbours.
Tags: Harcourts; Richard Gray
South Africa’s residential property market is showing signs of improvement, as evidenced by increased enquiries from prospective buyers, improved show house attendance and stock shortages in a growing number of areas.
That’s the word from Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts Real Estate SA, following the release of FNB’s April 2013 House Price Index, which reports “mildly positive growth” during the first quarter of 2013, with the likelihood of further value gains in the second quarter.
“As a group, we’re seeing a widespread uptick in terms of buyer interest. From being in the doldrums for the last few years, the market appears to be on the road to recovery, with house price growth in popular suburbs on track to exceed inflation in real terms for the first time since 2008,” he says.
However, he warns, the positive spinoffs of an improving market are likely to be experienced by only…
Boksburg, described by mining commissioner Montague White in 1888 as one of the most uninviting spots he’d ever seen, is today one of Gauteng’s more attractive and sought-after cities as evidenced by its growing population: according to the results of the last Census, it has grown from 158 600 residents in 2001 to more than 445 000 in 2012.
That’s the assertion of Brian Dugmore, principal of Harcourts Anchor in Boksburg, who says the area bears no resemblance to the dry, tree-less expanse of the late 1800s. “Boksburg has literally turned into an oasis, not only with regard to its environmentally attractive setting and thriving industrial and retail sectors but also because of its wide range of property offerings in all price ranges” says Dugmore.
Less than 20km to the centre of Johannesburg and with its own thriving industrial zone in the form of Jet Park, it’s…
Home buyers with serious spending power in KwaZulu-Natal’s Upper Highway area had only one suburb in their sights until a few years ago: Kloof.
However, the lush residential suburb that grew out of a weekend and holiday retreat for wealthy Durban residents can no longer lay claim to being the only top-of-the-hill destination, avers Murray Aberdein, principal of Harcourts Suburban Spaces.
Aberdein, whose company recently joined the giant Harcourts group after five years of successful operation as an independent, explains: “Hillcrest, long its countrified neighbour, has superseded Kloof as the economic hub of the Upper Highway on the back of intense and large-scale commercial, retail and residential development. The centre of Hillcrest today bears no resemblance to the little village of ten years ago, and the smallholdings and sugar cane fields that characterised the area have now made way for acres of prime secure estates such as…
Property prices in Cape Town’s northern suburbs are finally showing positive capital growth – the first time since 2008.
Labuschagne, who heads up a team of 20 qualified “cherry picked” estate agents, says house prices in his area of operation, which comprises Bellville, Durbanville, Brackenfell, Kuils River, Parow and Kraaifontein amongst others, are showing growth of around 5% year-on-year. This he attributes to a number of factors, not least of all that the recession is receding, a belief supported by his company’s record turnover last year, after doubling its 2011 sales volumes.
However, he points out, buyers are still extremely price conscious and affordability therefore remains fundamental to continued market momentum. This is one of the reasons for the growing popularity of the area, which he says offers better brick-and-mortar…
House prices on the West Rand are “realistic”, one of the reasons behind a growing influx of home buyers to the area who are willing to add extended travelling times to their daily workplace commute in exchange for good brick-and-mortar value for money.
Calling the West Rand “the undiscovered jewel in the Gauteng crown”, Barbosa says people venturing out west for the first time are invariably impressed at the area’s facilities, scenic countryside setting and the competitive pricing of its housing stock. This, along with its proximity to excellent highways, which soften the distance between the Johannesburg city centre and home, is behind a growing number of buyers’ decisions to cancel their searches in other closer, though more expensive, locales, maintains Barbosa, a 25 year veteran of the West Rand…