CENTURION OFFERS A PRIME INVESTMENT MARKET
What used to be the sleepy area of Pretoria known as Centurion is today a bustling hub of activity with much working in its favour – specifically in terms of the abundance of sectional titles which is drawing new buyers and tenants to the area.
According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, property markets like Centurion offer great investment opportunities owing to the appeal of its location. “The more positive elements a location has going for it, the greater the potential resale value the properties in that market will have over the long term. Essentially, it comes down to desirability and whether buyers would want to live where the home is situated – demand directly influences price,” he explains.
Describing the conditions within the local property market, Rudi van den Berg, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Jowic, explains that Centurions’ abundance of sectional title units has attracted a steady stream of buy-to-let, first-time buyers and investors to the property market. Estimated entry-level price is around R650,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to R850,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.
“Low-interest rates are making it easier to invest in property and banks are also offering 105% bonds to qualified buyers, some without a deposit. This is driving the very high number of first-time buyers. And, with financial markets all over the world in turmoil owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, investors are looking more favourably at the Centurion property market than ever before. This is because the property market offers buyers promising opportunities of higher returns,” he explains.
According to van den Berg, properties close to transportation hubs such as the Gautrain, schools, hotels, hospitals and major highway connections are most popular. “The daily commute has become significantly easier for residents due to the easily accessible, major roadways linking through to Johannesburg, Midrand, Krugersdorp, Pretoria and O.R. Tambo International Airport. The Gautrain railway line also runs through the heart of Centurion and offers a convenient travel alternative to its residents.”
Beyond this, van den Berg explains that safety and security have become increasingly important when choosing a suburb in which to invest, which has made estates within Centurion extremely popular. He predicts that this will remain so for the foreseeable future. “Gated villages have attracted a cosmopolitan community and Centurion functions as something of a mini-city of its own. In this market, property in estates have excellent returns, are affordable, and are centrally located near to all schools, hospitals, malls and highways. Demand for estate living in Centurion has increased dramatically and buyers are happy to pay a premium price for the security aspect.”
For those hoping to make rental returns on their real estate investment, van den Berg explains that the Centurion rental market is flourishing, with the majority of rental properties for lease existing in complexes. “With Centurion being conveniently located for the working class and offering a large number of schools, the majority of tenants are young professionals and young families. Rentals average between R7,000 - R9,000 in Die Hoewes and Wierdapark areas. These areas offer properties ranging from townhouses to flats. Townhouses with gardens are the most sought-after properties as these are more family-friendly. An investor would have gained at least 8% guaranteed return on his investment from rental income, making a rental property a very good investment. The only downside in being a landlord in this market is the high cost of the levies. The complexes offering gardens, swimming pools and tennis courts have a higher levy, but are quicker to rent out and offer higher returns,” he explains.
As a growing area with new investments and high demand with a high return on investment, van den Berg believes that Centurion can be very lucrative for the investor. Sharing his sentiments about the suburb, Goslett sites the old adage of ‘location, location, location’. “While finding the right home in the right location will require time and research, the future benefits of solid growth in the value of the property will certainly make it worthwhile,” he concludes.