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Chas Everitt International Newsletter

Johannesburg may be the financial heart of the country, but it is by no means the most expensive city in which to buy property. In fact, according to the latest available statistics, it only comes fourth after Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Pretoria – and has many areas that are actually among the lowest priced options for first-time buyers anywhere in SA.

What is more, the latest Absa Housing Review shows, young people who buy a home in Johannesburg are likely to see really good value growth and returns on their investments at the moment. The average value of middle segment homes in Johannesburg’s Southern and Eastern suburbs, for example, is currently rising at 17,2% a year, and that of homes in the Northern and Western suburbs by 13,9%. Only Bloemfontein, where the average price is rising by 18,2%, is doing better.

And yet, the latest figures from BetterBond Home Loans show, the average home price in Jo’burg South/ East is the second-lowest in SA, at R872 000, and even in the upmarket suburbs of Jo’burg North/ West, the average home price is only R1,05m, which is considerably lower than the average home price of R1,22m in Cape Town.

Meanwhile, the figures show, the best place for first-time buyers to get into the market at the moment in the Eastern Cape, where the average first-time buyer price is only R478 000 and the average deposit only around 14,2%.

Of course, different banks and originators do all have slightly different figures, depending on their specific client base and lending “book”, but what the statistics above really show is that prospective homebuyers should never just rely on general impressions of an area or city, but rather try to get as much detailed local information as they can – preferably from an experienced estate agent who knows the area well.

As in everything, knowledge is power – and in this case it might just enable you to find the home of your dreams.

From a Chas Everitt International Newsletter on the 2nd of October 2014.