Picture: SAPA
Picture: SAPA

THE introduction of e-tolling, which seems imminent ahead of Christmas, is expected to affect home-buying patterns and the use of public transport.

RealNet estate agency group MD Jan Davel says he expects there will be increased demand among young buyers for flats and townhouses in inner-city areas close to their workplaces, close to Gautrain and Metrorail stations and on convenient bus routes.

"In fact, we think that access to good public transport could become a factor almost as important as price, because being able to go without a car and all the related expenses may well make all the difference for such consumers between being able to buy a home and having to carry on renting. "

Among older, more established buyers with families, he says, there is likely to be sharply increased demand in the heritage suburbs for homes with space for home offices so that owners can cut down on office commutes and gain easy access to good schools and convenient shopping.

Mr Davel says there will also be continued demand for homes in self-contained estates that have their own schools, shops and are close to decentralised office nodes.

"Consumers elsewhere should not dismiss these trends as only being applicable to the Gauteng market, as the South African National Roads Agency has clearly stated its intention of rolling out electronic tolling on highways and new roads countrywide," Mr Davel says.

"In addition, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said in his (medium-term budget policy statement last month) that the costs of much of the new infrastructure the government proposes to build … would be recovered by charges on the users."