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Here’s how online offers can lead to higher-than-asking prices

Digital disruptor Eazi.com, which sells property for a fixed fee of R39,500 on successful conclusion of a sale, reports high demand and activity in the sought-after Helderberg areas of Strand, Gordon’s Bay and Somerset West in the Cape’s Boland region, particularly in the price range up to around R2m and the mid-R2 millions.

“Along with the burgeoning growth and rising local economies in these thriving locations, apart from steady activity among middle-aged and mature buyers, there’s a changing dynamic as a proliferation of younger buyers is increasingly evident in statistics of successfully concluded sales,” said Claire Leske, GM operations for Eazi.com. “The younger generation is recognising the potential for seizing opportunities in the current market to grab their first foothold on the property ladder at still affordable prices – buying an asset mainly for use as a permanent residence and medium- to long-term investment, but also to acquire an investment property to let out, capitalising on the demand for rentals in this price range.”

Quoting Lightstone stats, Leske says in Somerset West, 36% of recent buyers from January to December 2018 were young adults defined as being between 18 and 35 years of age, with 27% from 36 to 49 years of age. In Gordon’s Bay 32% were young adults and a further 33% in the 36 to 49 age profile, while in Strand 30% were young adults and a further 36% from 36 to 49.


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“However, at the other end of the scale during the year (2019) to date the majority of enquiries have generally been older people buying for retirement or a change in lifestyle,” said Leske. “For example, a recent sale was to a Johannesburg couple relocating to Gordon’s Bay, while another buyer acquired a property in Strand for investment and eventual retirement. Enquiries are higher on properties priced up to around R1,8m and, as a result, Gordon’s Bay and Strand are very accessible to buyers.”

Leske said that in Somerset West, where new sectional title developments have risen out the ground in recent years, there’s an opportunity to acquire units listed at more affordable prices than freehold property.

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“While we are newly launched in these popular Helderberg areas, there is certainly more buyer activity than seller at this stage and homes listed at fair market value are experiencing high interest from buyers.

“As a model, both buyers and sellers like the convenience of using our transparent and user-friendly platform, which reduces cost and time. Overall, the quickest sale we’ve experienced occurred in minutes, while on another property, during the online bidding process where bidders can see all offers being made, a property with an asking price of R450,000 ultimately fetched R500,000, which was more than 10% higher than asking price.

“Such was the demand that within 24 hours this property drew 21 offers, thereby pushing up the price as multiple bidders competed for the home online. As buyers can see offers submitted, they can improve their bid if they see a more competitive offer has been made. In another instance, the buyer had a 40% cash deposit and bond approval in hand, which for the seller, trumped other offers – and it’s all done online, even the offer to purchase, which is written in simple easy-to-understand language.”

One of the other benefits is that data is available on Eazi.com’s website of all sales transactions concluded in an entire suburb, or you can set an alert and view asking prices of all properties on sale in an area, enabling you to keep an eye on your own investment.

david.steynberg@gmail.com

David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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