The increase of the transfer duty threshold has boosted the first-time buyers’ market in more ways than anticipated, with reports from Pam Golding Properties that, those who are able to, are buying homes for the people they love who would have otherwise struggled to become homeowners.
Ian Olivier, area principal of PGP Port Elizabeth, chalks the moment Nancy Witbooi was handed the keys to her first home by agent Leonard Ellis up as one of the greatest of his career. Witbooi was bought a home by her long-term employer in appreciation of her 30 years of service.
“In all my years of real estate, this is the first time I’ve been mandated to find a property as a gift for another party,” said Linda de Lange, also with Pam Golding Properties PE and who had been working with the client to sell his own properties.
“After he sold his home in Sardinia Bay, he became concerned about his domestic worker Nancy, who lived in a house on one of his adjacent properties. He told me he felt a responsibility for her after her many years of loyal service and wanted to buy her a house of her own. Nancy wanted a place in Walmer Township close to her family and spacious enough for her and her young granddaughter who lives with her, so I spoke to Leonard Ellis who had a listing there. He took Nancy and her employer to see it, and the rest is history!”
Listed for R110,000 the businessman paid the full asking price in cash for the home comprising an open-plan living area / kitchen, bathroom and upstairs bedroom as well as a lock-up garage. According to Ellis prices in Walmer Township range from R80,000 to R300,000 with the average house costing around R160,000. “With limited stock under R200,000, I was surprised that this property didn’t sell quickly,” said Ellis. “I have no doubt that it would sell for R20,000 or R30,000 more in the current market.”
Ellis is also working with a client who wants to purchase a home for his grandparents. The property, which is in Bethelsdorp, is about 12km away from the Port Elizabeth Central Business District (CBD) and on the market for R600,000.
Ellis puts the price band of “affordable housing” in Port Elizabeth at between R80,000 and R450,000 and says it can typically be found in “townships” such as Zwide, Motherwell, Walmer Township and KwaZakhele as well as in the Central area.
“Raising the transfer duty threshold from R750,000 to R900,00 has stimulated first-time buyer interest in these areas,” reiterated Ellis. “Affordability is obviously key for low income earners, so this, along with the home buying subsidies available from government for qualifying buyers, is stimulating demand among people who want to own their own homes.”
He reminded, however, that the backlog of first-level subsidies (purchases of R160,000 by those earning a maximum of R3,500 a month) needs to be addressed to make long-time dreams of homeownership a reality for more South Africans.
Top photo: From left Leonard Ellis, proud new home owner Nancy Witbooi and Ian Olivier.