The onslaught of media and public awareness around the water crisis have started to highlight the need for greener ways of living, but what else are property buyers looking for when they consider different options? Proximity to the city centre is only a priority for a few buyers, so get some insight into what really matters, and what will influence the decisions of potential homeowners.

Value for money

Naturally, a buyer wants to perceive value for their money first and foremost. If they feel that the asking price is too high, they will simply overlook the property and move on with their search. A property that is deemed to be good value will often have a good combination of space, features and location for a reasonable price.

In this case, ‘reasonable’ also means affordable. The economic recession forced Capetonians to search for cheaper homes in 2017, with 80% of properties sold being valued at under R1.5m. Affordable housing is considered to be better value for money in this weak economic climate, and this trend is likely to continue throughout 2018.

Less is more

Suburbs have become denser and large properties are being subdivided to satisfy the need for accommodation. Tall apartment blocks and sectional title properties have become the preferred investment for buyers. Smaller apartments are easier to maintain and are more affordable than freehold properties.

Buyers are looking for properties that are easier to look after on a month-to-month basis. The added security of sectional title developments is also a major drawcard. In recent years, apartment blocks have accounted for around 63% of property sales, and this number has been growing steadily over the past 20 years.

City centre accommodation

Unlike Johannesburg and Durban, Cape Town has always attracted buyers in the city centre. Inner city suburbs in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have been neglected by the government, which has allowed illegal squatters to move into high rises. This is beginning to change, though; developments such as Maboneng have started to attract young buyers with premium pricing and tax incentives.  

Property developers are starting to invest more money and effort into inner city projects, although this has been done in Cape Town for many years. The city bowl has always been a popular choice for potential homeowners and areas such as De Waterkant have become trendy and sought-after suburbs.

Greener living

As Capetonians wake up to the fact that water is a scarce resource, they are beginning to value eco-friendly features such as solar panels and greywater systems. Electricity prices have skyrocketed and water bills will increase too, making the need for alternative sources of energy and water a priority for buyers.

Solar geysers, recycling, rainwater harvesting and solar panel systems are likely to attract buyers and influence their decision when it comes to making a purchase. These environmentally-friendly features are gaining popularity, especially with the younger generation of homeowners.

Connected homes

Similarly, young buyers are placing more emphasis on homes that come equipped with fibre optic networks and fast internet. Features such as gardens and pools are becoming less important, with young homeowners preferring the technological features offered in a sale. Options such as DStv are also being overrun by high-speed internet connections.

Security and safety

Crime is a major concern for South Africans, which means that security systems and features are a high priority for buyers, so much so that it can make or break a deal with the seller. Apartment blocks and housing complexes can offer better security that freehold properties, which is another reason why they are gaining popularity.

Naturally, areas will a lower crime rate are also more sought after, and offerings such as security controlled access and patrols are more appealing to buyers. Community-based security schemes are becoming the norm across South Africa.

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Here’s why budgeting is important for potential homeowners.

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