According to the FNB Property Barometer May 2019, Pretoria is a preferred home location for many first-time buyers, mainly because it has a higher representation of civil servants who have enjoyed above inflation wage increases in the past few years.
“Pretoria has also for some time been relatively cheaper when compared to Johannesburg. Furthermore, the ease of travel between the two cities with improved road network, and the Gautrain has positioned Pretoria as an attractive destination with value for money homes,” according to Siphamandla Mkhwanazi, property economist at FNB.
Although more first-time buyers are choosing Pretoria, Johannesburg, being the economic hub of South Africa will always be in demand. In the past few years, Johannesburg has seen a number of new developments come onto the market with the popular priced brackets ranging from R750 000 to R1.6 million, notes Mkhwanazi.
Research further shows that first-time buyers accounted for 31.7% at the end of 2017 in Pretoria, while Johannesburg recorded 21.3% by the second quarter of 2018. By Q1 2019, the proportion of first-time buyers in Johannesburg had risen to 25.5%, with Pretoria recording 29% of all sales.
Nationally, the proportion of first-time buyers has increased to an estimated 22.7% in Q1 2019 from 17.6% in the same period in 2018, reveals the bank.
Data from ooba has been showing an increase in first-time buyers since mid-2017 – with first-time buyers accounting for 52.1% of total mortgages extended by ooba during the first quarter of 2019.
Buying property in Pretoria
Indications are that first-time buyers are starting to take advantage of what appears to be a buyers’ market, particularly in the middle to higher-end segments. “The lower-end has remained resilient, and still enjoys healthy demand levels,” he says.
Mkhwanazi points out that what is traditionally regarded as the lower-end of the market, the R250 000 to R500 000 price bracket seems to attract disproportionately more first-time buyers, followed closely by the R500 000 to R750 000 price bracket.
“On the opposite end of the spectrum, the "tail end" of what is regarded as middle to higher-end seems to be quite popular as well, and these properties are priced between R750 000 to R1.6 million.”
According to Pam Golding Properties Pretoria area specialists, Pretoria is experiencing an increase in the number of first-time buyers purchasing properties priced from R400 000 in Pretoria Central, and up to R1.6 million in Centurion and Moreleta Park.
Affordable properties in Pretoria Central and Pretoria West
Tendai Garaba, Pam Golding Properties Pretoria Central area specialist explains that there has been an increase in demand for properties priced below R1 million in Pretoria Central and Pretoria West, with over 300 property transactions concluded overall in Pretoria West in 2018, and during the first quarter of 2019.
“The popular price bracket is between R400 000 for one bedroom apartments in areas such as Danville, west of Pretoria Central, and from R500 000 to R990 000 for properties in secure estates including Westview Security Estate, Lotus Gardens Security estate and Elandspoort in Pretoria West.”
Garaba says in the established suburbs, first-time buyers purchase two to three bedroom apartments priced between R475 000 to R800 000 with popular areas including Lotus Gardens and Westview Security Estate.
Generally, suburbs including Arcadia, Hatfield in Pretoria Central, as well as Lotus Gardens Security Estate, and Westview Security Estate in Pretoria West are popular with first-time buyers because of affordability and security.
These suburbs are ideally located close to main roads with plenty of public transport, shopping amenities, schools and health facilities.
Sought-after properties in Moreleta Park and Centurion
First-time buyers are drawn to Moreleta Park because of its affordable properties priced from R800 000, and located in secure estates, says Julian Scott, Pam Golding Properties area specialist.
Scott notes that there is definitely increased demand for homes in Moreleta Park from first-time buyers looking for secure environments, and a lock-up-and-go convenience lifestyle. Buyers tend to look for two bedrooms, however, others buy three bedroom homes depending on their budget and affordability.
“We have seen increased activity in the R800 000, and up to R1.6 million price brackets in secure complexes and townhouse developments in Moreleta Park,” says Scott.
According to Rudi Kruger, Pam Golding Properties Centurion area specialist, Centurion is also experiencing increased activity and demand from first-time buyers.
“Centurion central is the most popular suburb for many first-time buyers because of its close proximity to the Centurion Gautrain Station, and the N1 Highway thus making it convenient for commuters between Johannesburg, O.R. Tambo International Airport and Pretoria,” says Kruger.
He says in Die Hoewes, first-time buyers are purchasing two and three bedrooms apartments priced between R1 million and R1.6 million.
Die Hoewes is situated close to Netcare Unitas Hospital, with exceptional schools including Hoërskool Centurion, Lyttelton Manor High School and Village Montessori. There is also the Gautrain Centurion Station with easy access to major highways and main roads, with a number of shopping centres and restaurants situated close to the suburb.
“A large percentage of first-time buyers purchase in Gauteng, and coupled with the fact that banks are willing to lend, when the economy starts improving, first-time buyers in Pretoria should certainly feel the benefits,” according to the agents.