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City laws hampering development of new apartments

Recently I was asked to find a place for a couple to stay in Bloemfontein while they were looking for a home to buy.

They were looking for a modern apartment with a double garage or carport and somewhere to store their things until they moved into their new home.

What I found was disturbing.

Firstly, virtually no new apartments have been built since the 1970s, the reason being that since then the metro is no longer the developer of suburbs.

New suburbs are developed privately and because of the unreasonable restrictions on the number of units per hectare, most developers have simply opted for townhouses instead.

In Bainsvlei, this limit is two storeys and 20 units per hectare compared to up to 120 units per hectare in town.

It’s just totally impractical.

This has resulted in a dearth of modern apartments.

Quite honestly, I don’t know where this market now stays.

Is it not time to allow for normal densities on flat sites?

Then developers will include more of then in their new suburbs.

The appetite for buying property remains quite strong.

Given the opportunity, many people would want to to own than rent a property.

There is a real lack of available sites in the city on which to do new developments especially ones that can be called “affordable luxury” units.

We have also been mandated to sell the Bloemfontein portfolio of a local developer which includes bachelor and two-bedroom flats, guest houses, small holdings and potential development sites, commercial sites in Ooseinde and more.

The developer has decided to concentrate his properties in other parts of the country including the Cape.

What’s most interesting is the massive positive response that we received from the current tenants as well as others owning some units in the same building.

The tenants seem to be eager to buy their own properties rather than rent and other owners appear to be happy to buy additional investment units in these buildings.

  • Mike Spencer is the founder and owner of Platinum Global. He is also a professional associated property valuer and consultant with work across the country as well as Eastern Europe and Australia.

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