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Monday Sep 17, 2012

Gauteng freeway project takes toll on would-be property buyers

The Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project will have significant impact on where buyers will choose to buy property in future, according to a survey conducted by bond originator, ooba.

In the survery conducted on ooba's website, 80 percent of respondents said they wil select the location of their next property taking inot consideration the location of Gauteng's new toll roads. Of the remainder of the repondents,13.12 percent said they would not be influenced, and 6.88 percent said they weren't aware of the tolls.

"This significant majority is not unexpected if you take into consideration that the proposed tolls could increase an individual's monthly expenditure by as much as R1 000," says Kevin Mountjoy, national sales manager at ooba.

"The most road travel that any person undertakes is between work and home, so naturally this added cost will influence where people want to live.

"The flow of traffic in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria is changing significantly, with increased congestion.

"The Gautrain, its supporting public transport infrastructure and the proposed tolls all play a part.

"These new factors mean that the considerations for people buying property now are quite different from what they were 10 years ago."

Although the improving public transport infrastructure will provide an alternative for those who want to avoid the increasingly congested roads - especially around commercial hubs - the service is not yet advanced or widespread enough to offer a realistic solution for most road users, so many people will still be subject to the tolls when they come into effect.

As a result, the costs of the tolls and the likelihood of being caught in traffic are key factors that home buyers should be giving thought to when considering a new property.

"Obviously nobody wants to waste precious time in traffic, but people often don't give this due consideration when looking for a home, especially as showdays are generally held on Sunday afternoons."

Mountjoy says people should look carefully at the areas in which they spend most of their time, to work out where and when they are likely to do most of their travelling.

"Property buyers should take into account the location of commercial centres, schools and public transport systems when they buy property," he says. "They should also look at where their family and close friends live and work, as naturally they will be visiting them often as well."

He also suggests that before making an offer on a house, potential buyers should drive the various routes that they will regularly take during rush hour and investigate the alternatives, to give themselves a sense of what they might be letting themselves in for.

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition)

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