Wellington has long been a favourite home base for those seeking rural tranquillity within easy reach of the conveniences of the city. According to Tertius Joubert, Franchisee of Rawson Properties Wellington, this “best-of-both-worlds” appeal has attracted a steady stream of buyers from Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs and further afield over the years.
Since the end of hard lockdown, however, Joubert says the stream has turned into a flood, with skyrocketing demand driving surprisingly high price growth in certain brackets.
“Market activity has been incredible over the last couple of months, particularly in the low- and mid-market segments, under R2.4million,” says Joubert. “We’re selling homes for full asking price in a matter of hours – some without even listing them on the open market.”
Joubert says the unprecedentedly low interest rates have played a big role in kickstarting buyer activity, but says this isn’t the only factor driving property investment in Wellington.
“In terms of value for money, we’re still very competitive here,” he says. “You can get a pristine two-bedroom home in a gated community for as little as R1.5million. Older and larger freehold properties can also be found for R1.5 to R2.5 million, generally with open-plan layouts and great indoor-outdoor flows.”
Wellington’s value extends to lifestyle as well. The town boasts some of the country’s top wine farms, most picturesque scenery, epic biking and hiking trails, shops, restaurants and excellent schools. According to Joubert, the pandemic has made it possible for families to enjoy this quality of life without having to worry about a work commute.
“I’d estimate around two thirds of Wellington’s residents commute to Paarl, the Northern Suburbs or Cape Town proper for work,” says Joubert. “It’s an easy commute, but it has been a deterrent to some buyers in the past. Now, with more and more of us working from home thanks to Covid-19, living a little further from a CBD is not a problem.”
Not all of Wellington’s buyers are coming from out of town, though. Joubert says plenty of locals are using the increased spending power of the low interest rates to scale up their homes. Older residents are also jumping at the chance to scale down with quick and easy, low-fuss sales.
Joubert cautions sellers looking to capitalise on the fast-moving market, however, not to skip the vital step of updating their property valuation.
“We’ve seen quite a few sellers listing their properties based on valuations from before lockdown,” says Joubert. “Since the hard lockdown ended, however, we’ve seen growth of between 5% and 8% on mid-market properties. That’s up to R160k on a R2million home that those sellers could be missing out on.”
As for buyers, Joubert says speed is of the essence thanks to high demand and low stock in popular price ranges.
“We’re back to a situation where buyers are competing for properties,” says Joubert. “Anything that delays your offer being accepted gives someone else the chance to slip in and take the property off the table. To give yourself the best chances, get pre approved if possible, know your affordability limits and don’t waste time with cheeky offers. If you’re not sure if a property is accurately priced, ask for advice from your neighbourhood real estate agent to set your mind at rest.”For more information contact Rawson Properties Wellington on 021 864 3389 or visit www.rawson.co.za