Top suburbs for first-time buyers in Cape Town are found in the Northern suburbs, particularly Brackenfell, Kraaifontein and Kuils River Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

DURBAN - If you’re new to a city, it can be tricky to know where to start your search especially if you’re looking in regions as large as Cape Town or Gauteng. 

According to Regional Director and Chief Executive of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, the best thing first-time buyers could do is allow a seasoned real estate professional to guide them through the process and introduce them to suitable suburbs. 

"The first step is to get in touch with a real estate professional and explain your needs to them. Cape Town, Pretoria, and Johannesburg are big cities, so a lot will depend on whether buyers are prepared to travel to work. Schools also play a big role, as well as access to highways – and, of course, a lot will hinge around budget. After explaining your preferences, an experienced estate agent will know which suburbs will best suit your needs and will be able to point you in the right direction," said Goslett.  

Goslett added that Sinoville, Faerie Glen and Marlette Park are typically good suburbs in Pretoria for first-time buyers, while Roodepoort, West Rand and Midrand are good areas for first-time buyers in Johannesburg.

As an indication of roughly what buyers can expect to pay in these Pretorian suburbs, Andrew Louw, Broker/Manger of the RE/MAX Destiny office in Sinoville, said that first-time buyers can budget around R1 – R1.2 million for a town house in Marlette Park, and around R1.2 – R1.4 million in Faerie Glen. 

In Johannesburg, Broker/Manager of the RE/MAX Central office in Midrand, Saskia Williams, says that one-bedroom bachelor flats in newly developed complexes go for around R680,000 in the Midrand area, while the top-floor loft apartments can go for up to R1.5 million. 

"There has been an influx of first-time buyers in the area in the last three years as many first-time developments have cropped up over this time. First-time buyers are attracted to purchasing in new developments because there are no transfer fees on these transactions," explained Williams.

Cape Town is equally as large and varied as its Gauteng siblings. While first-time buyers will struggle to find something affordable near or within the CBD, the suburbs lying on the outskirts of town offer much better value for money for first-time buyers. 

"Top suburbs for first-time buyers in Cape Town are found in the Northern suburbs, particularly Brackenfell, Kraaifontein and Kuils River. With entry level prices of around R980,000 to R1.5 million for houses and townhouses, these areas are well-suited to family buyers and offer outstanding value for money. Property on the Western Seaboard remains relatively affordable with new suburbs like Sunningdale and Parklands that have been developed to cater for the increased demand in the area. Townhouse prices in these suburbs range between R1.95 and R1.5 million," said Terry Rutherford the marketing manager at RE/MAX Property Associates.