Bloemfontein is booming with first-time home buyers – outpacing Johannesburg’s residential rebound

Bloemfontein (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Nearly 8,700 properties in Bloemfontein were sold in 2021, up 30% from the previous year and representing an eight-year high.
  • That’s a better rebound from the coronavirus-induced crisis than Johannesburg, which grew just 22%.
  • First-time home buyers are driving the property boom in Bloemfontein and are opting for affordable sectional title properties priced under R1million.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Bloemfontein’s residential property sector is booming, driven mainly by first-time home buyers, with sales hitting an eight-year high in 2021 and outpacing the rebound seen in Johannesburg.

The two-year-old Covid-19 pandemic has changed real estate trends, with terms such as “Zoom” and “Boom” attributed to cities that have seen an influx of new residents take advantage of the ability to work remotely. .

Bloemfontein breaks the mould. It’s not a small town and doesn’t offer a drastic change in the form of a better work-life balance compared to other metros. But according to at least one property expert, backed by sales data gleaned from the Deeds Office, Bloemfontein could be South Africa‘s next boom town.

“Bloemfontein appears to be the next boom town. It’s attracting shoppers from Gauteng and even the Western Cape, according to recent data from Lightstone,” said Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond.

Nearly 8,700 properties in Bloemfontein were sold in 2021, up 30% on the previous year when the market was thrown into a tailspin due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Data provided by Deeds Office and published by Property24 – monitoring of annual property sales up to 2013 – shows that 2021 has been Bloemfontein’s busiest year on record.

And while major metropolises like Cape Town and Durban saw an increase in sales after the 2020 lull – 42% and 54%, respectively – Bloemfontein’s rebound has outpaced Johannesburg’s and shows few signs of slowing.

Johannesburg’s property sales are up just 22% in 2021 and remain well below the eight-year average.

Bloemfontein’s property boom is driven by first-time buyers, with almost 70% of buyers aged between 18 and 49, which is a higher percentage in this age bracket than the South African national average.

The majority of new home buyers in Bloemfontein have opted for sectional title properties, which Audrey Pretorius, BetterBond regional manager for the Free State, says comes as no surprise as first time buyers typically opt for smaller, safer and low-maintenance properties. Properties.

“We find that many younger buyers are not interested in large gardens that require maintenance, so they prefer sectional titles with smaller outdoor spaces that are corporately maintained,” Pretorius said, adding that many new residential developments were opening in Bloemfontein at affordable prices. prices.

“The units are modern and new, which reduces the initial maintenance required.”

Property prices in Bloemfontein have also risen at a slower pace than the South African average, with affordability being one of the key strengths for first-time buyers.

The average price of a property in South Africa has increased by more than 40% over the last eight years, while in Bloemfontein properties are only 20% more expensive. The average price of sectional title properties in Bloemfontein is just over R900,000.

“This makes sectional title properties affordable for first-time home buyers who may not have the financial reserves to cover the transfer taxes required for properties over R1 million,” said said Coetzee.

Schooling, like Gray College and St Andrews, also plays a major role in Bloemfontein in attracting new owners, according to Coetzee.

“Our schools are world-class and cheaper than many private schools elsewhere in the country.”

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