You can also listen to this podcast on iono.fm here.

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Welcome to The Property Pod, South Africa’s premier property investor podcast. On this weekly podcast show, we gain insider insights from leading executives, analysts, developers and entrepreneurs in SA’s property industry.

Soweto is South Africa’s biggest township and is a historic part of the country, considering our apartheid past. Today it’s a bigger neighbourhood and bustling with activity – even more so on the property front.

Read: Orlando Towers Estate expected to empower Soweto residents to invest in property

It is also a popular tourist area in the Joburg metro, with famous landmarks such as Kliptown – where the Freedom Charter was drawn up, the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Vilakazi Street, which once was home to late president Nelson Mandela as well as Bishop Desmond Tutu, both of whom were Nobel Peace Prize winners.

According to real estate agency Seeff Property Group, Soweto is one of the most dynamic property markets in the country and booming in the Gauteng market.

To share more insight into this and what’s happening in Soweto’s residential property market, Khosi Sibiya is on this latest podcast. Sibiya is one of the licensees of the Seeff Soweto branch, together with her business partner, Phindi Mphahlele.

Highlights of her interview appear below. You can also listen to the full podcast above or download it from iono, Spotify or Apple Podcasts. 

Khosi Sibiya, Seeff Soweto, Soweto property market, Seeff, The Property Pod

Khosi Sibiya, joint-licensee of the Seeff Soweto branch. Image: Supplied

Highlights

According to Lightstone, Soweto has some 37 suburbs that are home to around 168 000 properties, more than double [those in] 1994. That’s a significant amount of growth. What’s behind this continued growth in Soweto, would you say?

“[It’s] because Soweto remains popular. Many buyers have family here. It is also a good investment. Lightstone shows property values have grown notably faster compared to the rest of Johannesburg …

“Although buyers are struggling due to the higher interest rates, Lightstone shows that well over 2 000 property transactions worth over R1.1 billion have been recorded for Soweto over the past year. Soweto is a great place for affordability and first-time home buyers who can later sell or rent out, buy something bigger, or move to better suburbs.”

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What are some of the other trends that you have noticed as a franchisee of Seeff Soweto in that market?

“As I said earlier, higher interest rates are making it tougher for buyers. They end up renting instead of buying. But for those who can afford [to buy], it is a good time to buy now.”

So it’s better for the rental market at the moment in Soweto, would you say?

“Yes, because even now at our office, we’re sitting on [between] 108 and 200 files [on] property that we’re managing as rentals.”

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But it is quite interesting, despite the higher interest rates, that there’ve been sales or transactions worth over R1 billion in Soweto alone. What are some of the prices achieved?

“The prices are mostly R1.2 [million or] lower, but those that are affordable are from R500 000 to R950 000. So we do have buyers who qualify for those amounts. So if [prices are] more than R1 million, we have the problem of buyers who don’t qualify.”

What are your expectations when rates start to come down later this year, hopefully, and into 2025?

“You know what, to be honest with you, the market will be booming because, remember, those clients who are renting now can’t afford [to buy], but they’ll qualify to buy when the interest rates go down next year.”

“So it’ll be a good market [in 2025], and the market will be booming.”

Before you go Khosi, do you want to share a little bit about yourself and your business partner Phindi, the licensees in Soweto? How long have you been in the property game?

“[I’ve been] in this industry for 20 years now. In 2005 I joined Property Realty, and then I joined another company. Seeff was not at that time on my mind. I worked under Realty, then we joined another company in 2007 … Now I’ve been [with] Seeff for almost 14 years, but 10 years back, I was working as a real estate agent.”

“Then, in 2019 I decided to become a licensee; I didn’t want to change to another brand because Seeff is a well-known company which is working for me and is a good brand. Clients know me as ‘Khosi Seeff’ … They don’t even mention my surname. They say ‘Khosi who is working for Seeff’ – so I’m happy to be in this well-known brand.”

Listen:
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Do you have some tips for would-be entrepreneurs who would want to become a real estate agent or licensee of their own branch one day?

“You know what, I normally tell other agents – because before I came to be a licensee, other agents told me, ‘Khosi, you’ve been all over, you are working so hard, so all our principals train us [using] your name. So what is your tip?’

I told them that to be in this industry, you need to be disciplined. You need to be honest to your clients and give them good service so you can gain trust … ”

“We have eight employees and my partner, who is with me in business – Phindi Mphahlele … I am happy to have her because we support each other. She’s also a good worker. So we are doing very well so far.”

Read/Listen: The Property Pod: Top 5 for 2023

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