In his budget speech in February, Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan made an announcement that could save first-time home buyers a lot of money. From 1 March, the transfer duty threshold has been raised from R750 000 to R900 000. This means that if you buy a house for R900 000 or less, you will pay no transfer duty to the government to register it in your name.
This being the case, house hunters looking to buy a home in the R1 million price range could save themselves lots of cash by setting their sights a fraction lower. Transfer duty on a R1.255 million house, for example, is R10 800! We rounded up some of the best deals in decent areas in South Africa’s leading cities to show what R900 000 could buy you.
Johannesburg – R849 000
This adorable starter home in the arty suburb of Westdene needs a little TLC, but you could move in straight away and use the money you saved on transfer duty to fix it up. Sunny and bright with parking for three cars, this two-bedroom house has wooden floors, pressed metal ceilings, built-in cupboards and a small garden.
Pretoria – R895 000
Agency: Beacon Real Estate
This neat and well maintained home situated on a quiet street in old Faerie Glen has two spacious bedrooms, a full bathroom, an open-plan living area with a sunny, north-facing patio and a private pool area. It comes with a spacious garden, good security, and a single garage with space for another car.
Cape Town – R849 000
Cape Town presents something of a challenge for the budget home buyer. You’ll have to look to the satellite suburbs to have any hope of finding anything under R900 000, but if you can manage the commute, there are some bargains. This neat little two-bedroom Muizenberg apartment is close to the beach in a secure development with great facilities.
Port Elizabeth – R800 000
This charming heritage home in the funky suburb of Richmond Hill has double volume ceilings, wooden floors and uninterrupted sea view. It has two bedrooms, a gorgeous deck and a modernised open-plan kitchen, dining and living area with a central feature fireplace.
East London – R825 000
Agency: Chas Everitt
This three-bedroom home in the sought-after suburb of Cambridge in East London is ideal for a family, being close to schools and shops. It has three bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, lounge, staff quarters, and a charming wraparound verandah. The interior needs a little work, so make your transfer duty discount work for you!
Durban – R895 000
Agency: Liger Property Group
This four-bedroom home in Newlands East is fun and funky and in walking distance of the schools and medical centre. It has built-in cupboards, air conditioning in the master bedroom, enclosed parking, a gorgeous deck with a built-in braai and views over abundant coastal greenery.
Pietermaritzburg – R720 000
Agency: Remax Midlands
This free-standing simplex in Scottsville is close to the Scottsville Mall, schools and city centre. It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and lots of built-in cupboards. It is surrounded by a small, easy-to-maintain garden and there is secure, underground parking.
Bloemfontein – R899 000
Agency: Annelia’s Properties
With three bedrooms and enough room to build a second bathroom, this family maisonette in Plessier has a lot of potential. It has laminate wooden floors, big windows letting in lots of light, and a small, tree-filled garden with space for children to play in.
Our ideas for the money you save
Put the money you saved on transfer duties to good use! You could:
- Start an emergency fund for home repairs
- Have the security system checked, and upgrade if necessary
- Get the house professionally cleaned before you move in
- Double your first bond repayment – and save on interest!
- Put the money towards any renovations you might want to make