Lightstone's aggregated data shows that Kimberley property prices have been steadily increasing for freehold and sectional title properties. 2019 saw a jump in registrations. We asked Ria Taljaard, new franchisee of Just Property Kimberley, for her insights into this market.
Taljaard confirms that prices show a steady increase that beats inflation. "In fact, the median price of sectional title units has consistently grown by more than 10% per year since 2017," she adds. "My interpretation from the records we have is that the demand for rental properties increased and investors reacted to that."
Other than investors, who are driving the market in Kimberley? Taljaard says that most buyers still prefer to buy full title properties: "In Kimberley, 73% of all residential properties sold are still full title homes, and those priced from R800 000 to R1,5 million make up the majority of these sales."
Regarding rentals, she says that "Just Property is fortunate to manage one of the largest rental books in Kimberley. The average rental for this area is above R7 500 per month and there are a number of investors who hold large portfolios of rental property. This is a great indication that the Kimberley rental market offers an excellent return on investment."
The effects of Covid-19 have been felt in property markets around the world, and Taljaard notes that some property owners in Kimberley, too, have felt the pinch.
"The current economic climate has sadly pushed more owners into the decision to list their property for sale now," she says. "We know how traumatic this is, and fortunately we have buyers who are able to take the opportunity presented by the lowered repo rate. A lot of tenants see this as the best opportunity in years to make the leap towards owning their own home."
Kimberley is a city with considerable historical significance due to its diamond mining past, which is reflected in properties dating back to that era. But people are not drawn here solely for the mining industry. Taljaard points to the many provincial government offices and the medical industry as major employers: "The economy is well balanced and not only dependant on the mines anymore," she says, adding that the people here are friendly and "still have that Northern Cape sense of community that embraces for visitors and locals alike".
Taljaard speaks from experience. She herself moved to the Northern Cape when her husband was transferred.
Her first experience in the property industry was helping a friend in his business. The bug bit, as they say, and she knew this was a field she could devote her life to. She began her career in Hartbeespoort, and worked her way through residential sales, then specialised in New Developments before focusing on rentals.
"And that's when I discovered the Just Property rental management system. When the time came to realise my dream of owning my own franchise, that is what made my choice an easy one. Being part of a forward-thinking, nationwide group that has specialised in rentals for so long was the backup I wanted for myself and my clients. The training and access to data is also streets ahead. Our property practitioners just have more to offer their customers."
Taljaard's role model is her father: "I aspire to emulate his respect for all people, his commitment to his faith and his can-do attitude! Those are the values I will use to build Just Property's reputation in Kimberley. I lead from the front and have a very hands-on approach - I don't just say "˜my door is always open for my clients', I provide them with my direct contact details."
Taljaard returns to the importance of training: "I invest a lot of time in training because I believe knowledge is what sets an excellent agent apart from the rest. Our focus is on how we can enhance the experience of every person we make contact with." She also believes in providing the best-in-class systems and intelligent assistance for her agents.
Success, for Taljaard, is the ability to contribute towards making the world a better place and she believes the property industry and her new franchise in Kimberley gives her this opportunity. "It is such a blessing to experience the joy of handing a buyer the keys to their very first home," she says.
"I worked myself up from the bottom in this industry - to reap the rewards for your hard work is another blessing, but that hard work also provides me with rich experience I can draw on, and for that I will always be grateful," Taljaard concludes. "I love Kimberley and I aim to bring the best possible knowledge, skill and service to my community through the work I love."
Just Property CEO, Paul Stevens, has known Taljaard for many years, and heralds her as one of the leading franchisees in the Just Property network and is pleased that she has expanded her franchise areas to include Kimberley. Her strong administrative skills, her dedication to exceptional service and her personable nature are a winning combination!