Housing for the middle income earners

Acutts Property Group and JSE listed construction company, Group Five, are aiming to churn out 18000 housing units per year into the undersupplied middle income market.

The groups made this commitment as they roll out housing units in their new development in Crystal Park, east of Johannesburg. The homes range between 45m2 for a one-bedroom unit and 90m2 for a four-bedroom one with each having the ability to expand in line with purchasers financial position.

The groups noted in a statement that research reflects that government housing currently focuses on households earning below R3500 a month, while private sector developments cater to the country’s top 10% earners receiving more than R20000 a month.

The affordable housing segment considers households earning between those figures, essentially earning too much to secure government housing and too little to secure mortgage financing via traditional avenues. Many buyers in this segment were first-time purchasers.

The Crystal Park, was launched in Benoni in May with further projects in the pipeline. The next phase would be in Midrand followed by Empangeni in KwaZulu-Natal, near Delft in the Western Cape and East London.

Each suburb would range between 600 and 2500 houses to effect the delivery of quality houses to communities. The consequential spin-off would involve the development of schools, shopping centres, health facilities and transport initiatives which Acutts chairman Pat Acutt confirmed formed part of the pre-planning phases in terms of getting the development areas approved.

Acutt said the on-site sales team at Crystal Park had finalised the first sales in mid-June and, given phase one had been completed, there was no impediment to escalating daily sales to the targeted 100. This figure allows for fewer finalised sales due to the present percentage mortgage finance declines.

The group said it has fast-tracked the bond approval system by using electronic submissions once the standard documentation – identity documents, salary or pay slips, marriage certificates and credit checks – had been completed. Acutt said this would enable the mortgage division to handle virtually any volume of bond applications daily.

“Buyers can see what they are purchasing within the limitations of their bond qualifications,” Acutt said.

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