Homeward bound

The Gauteng provincial government expects mass migration to swell population figures by 18.4% over the next decade. Meanwhile, property developers are adjusting their offerings to meet demand and stay ahead of lockdown limitations


Africa is the second most populous continent after Asia. Its current population of nearly 1-billion is expected to rise to 2.2-billion over the next 40 years, according to Stats SA’s National Development Plan (NDP) 2030.

Midyear estimates released in 2018 peg the country’s population at an estimated 57.7-million, with a net immigration estimate of 1.02-million people expected between 2016 and 2021. Most international migrants (47.5%) settle in Gauteng, SA’s economic hub, attracted by commercial opportunities, jobs and the promise of a better life. The NDP 2030 references data provided by the Global Commission on International Migration that about 3% of the world population are international migrants who have changed country of residence over the past five years. In SA this figure is estimated to be about 2.7%. In Gauteng, the international migrant gateway to the country, it is about 13%. Over the next 18 years the population in this province is expected to increase from 10.8-million to 14.1-million.

Munyaka, a Balwin Properties development in Waterfall


Property developers are gearing up for a rise in housing demand as urbanisation increases, particularly in the price bracket just below R1m. The number of applications for home loans at the start of 2020 was the highest it has been in three years, driven largely by purchases in that bracket. The interest rate has since been decreased by 100 basis points, representing a saving of R650 per month on a R1m bond repayment.

“With increasing competition from banks to lend, some first-time buyers qualify for bonds of more than 100%. This, along with the low interest rate and the current ‘buyer’s market’, means that any prospective buyer is in the best position to make a property acquisition now. Obviously, where one decides to invest is key and potential buyers should be eyeing growth areas and estates that offer more bang for their buck through strong security and estate facilities, with the potential for value growth over time,” says Leon van der Vyver, development manager of Olivewood Village, a sought-after family estate in Kempton Park.

Steyn City in Midrand


Meanwhile, Lightstone Property released results indicating how properties perform in the sectional title, freehold and estate property sales market. Sectional title sales of properties aged 30 to 39 years have outperformed other age bands, with average annual growth of 4.7%. This is followed by units aged 20 to 29 years, with average annual growth of 4.2% over the past decade. In the past five years, the 30- to 39-year-old sectional title properties sold realised an average of 29% compared with 22% for their 20- to 29-year-old counterparts. Midrand and Modderfontein were the most popular areas in terms of volume of five-year-old properties sold in the same period. The report also highlights that single women are buying more sectional title properties older than 10 years compared with single men or couples (married or unmarried).

“Potential buyers should be eyeing growth areas and estates that offer more bang for their buck through strong security and estate facilities, with the potential for value growth over time” Leon van der Vyver, development manager, Olivewood Village

Lagoon units at Munyaka


Property buying and viewing options are increasing online, especially since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic. HomeFront asked selected developers how they’re adapting to these and other market shifts.

With the early effects of the Covid-19 pandemic being realised in SA, JSElisted Balwin Properties had launched its new development Munyaka in Waterfall, Midrand, and sold 555 apartments totalling R850m in four days. Sales included two ultra-luxurious beachfront penthouses at a new benchmark of R30m each and two of four super-luxurious beachfront units at R10m each.

The clubhouse at Olivewood Village in Kempton Park

Interested buyers snapped up unit variations across the range, with the entry-level option offering appealing access to an unsurpassed lifestyle that centres around a magnificent crystal-clear lagoon the size of seven rugby fields.
Developers are well used to selling off plan, so the restrictions imposed by the need to control the spread of Covid-19 will not necessarily impact sales. We have worked very closely with our architects to bring something exceptional to South African sectional title buyers. We believe Munyaka will become the crown jewel in our development portfolio. It will set a new standard for lifestyle estate living not only in Waterfall but indeed in the country. – Steve Brookes, founder and CEO, Balwin Properties

Population growth, urbanisation, advances in technology, the switch to a service-oriented economy and a new awareness of the value of time mean that housing needs are changing. Steyn City has taken note of these changes to provide a multifaceted home offering coupled with exceptional lifestyle. We’re seeing rising interest in options that help bring the home closer to the workplace. This trend is influenced by the twin dynamics of government’s policy to create high-density developments near work hubs, and the reality that the workplace will eventually follow the worker.

Steyn City is renowned for its green spaces

Steyn City’s developers have anticipated this by creating residences that appeal to a lifestyle rather than a demographic: there are infrastructure, facilities, accommodation types and amenities to suit every age and family stage.

All the freehold homes, apartments and clusters have access to the 810ha parkland, offering residents one of the largest back gardens in the country. A host of convenient facilities enhance the all-important work-life balance. Plus there is the Steyn City Schools campus on site, whereas the commercial centre Capital Park reduces time spent commuting. Steyn City is committed to upholding the regulations of lockdown and prioritises clients’ safety. Videos illustrating highlights of the development have been uploaded to our website, where potential buyers can view the offering online. The sales department can be contacted to schedule a viewing after lockdown. Interested parties may reserve units from developers’ stock, guaranteeing a fixed price, and conclude the agreement of sale if they’ve already viewed the property and wish to proceed with their purchase. – Lambert Bezuidenhout, sales manager, Steyn City
Craft Homes is launching three developments catering for different life stages over the next three weeks. Springwood in Craigavon comprises 64 freestanding duplexes priced from R1,699,000. These three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom homes with private gardens are a step up for a young couple starting a family. Springwood has a green belt, a clubhouse, a pool and a kids’ play area. The Woods in Kyalami offers a mix of apartments and freestanding homes.

Springwood, a new Craft Homes development in Craigavon

Phase 1 comprises 63 apartments (with two bedrooms and two bathrooms) and 52 duplexes (with three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms), whereas Phase 2 will be made up of 102 apartments and 43 duplexes. The development has a green belt as well as a park, a communal clubhouse and a play area for children. Highbridge in Bryanston consists of only 12 large freestanding homes priced from R3.45m with incredible finishes and optional pools. They have three bedrooms each, all en suite, and a guest bathroom downstairs.

Traditionally we get a lot more engagement online. There is an appointment booking form and virtual tours available on our website. People can reserve units online from the launch day or buy online now for the developments currently selling. A successful online sale all depends where the buyer is in the buying cycle – if they know what’s out there and they know what value they should be getting, it is an easy sale. It’s not that different to selling off plan. We differentiate ourselves by offering the best value in niche markets. Affordability is a big thing, but you have to provide value. The market is currently very responsive in the R2m price bracket, yet demand is high in the R1m market too. We’re also seeing resales in our own stable, which is a dream. – Reinier van Loggerenberg, MD, Craft Homes

Development offerings between R600,000 and R1m by developers International Housing Solutions are seeing significant growth in sales. These properties appeal to first-time buyers attracted by secure environments in the right locations.

Sustainability is another factor. Developers are aware of buyers’ need to save costs and mitigate the challenges of load shedding and water shortages.

In terms of Covid-19, consumers are attending Zoom Meetings with sales consultants and using interactive modules to see floor plans and experience 360˚ views of the environment. These methods, as well as Facebook Live interactions, are all tools we had been using already. Lockdown has simply increased people’s trust in them.
Currently we are seeing an increase in engagement of between 40% and 120% on various websites we host. People are driven there through social media and are drawn by the potential for live chats, visualisation tools, online interactive modules and various property shops.

Although we are going through a difficult period, interest has spiked because people are more open to property purchases online. – Stefan Botha, director, Rainmaker Marketing

Stefan Botha Director, Rainmaker Marketing

Lambert Bezuidenhout Sales manager, Steyn City

Steve Brookes Founder and CEO, Balwin Properties

Reinier van Loggerenberg MD, Craft Homes A

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