By Donna Collins
PRICES shot through the roof at a closed bid sale of 50 single residential erven offered by the Swakopmund Municipality last week, when desperate buyers put their money where their mouth is, and doubled the upset prices set down by Council with a top price of nearly N$700 000 being paid.
This was the second of six closed bid property sales held by the Municipality this year; which is selling off a total of 259 serviced erven located in Extension 34, Matutura, with the final one scheduled for June.
Hundreds of enthusiastic buyers packed into the newly constructed Mondesa Multi-Purpose Centre, in the hopes of making their dream come true, but many left empty handed and very disappointed, as they were outdone by higher qualifying bidders with a far bigger budget.
With erf sizes ranging in size from 450 square metres to a generous 1 054 square metres, the Municipality upset prices started at a reasonable N$166 000 and went up to N$384 000 for the largest stand. But with the Municipality allocating erven to the highest bid, not everyone was lucky.
Many attended the closed bid process knowing that the prices would be pushed up, but no one expected the competition to be so challenging, making it difficult for those who came in as first time buyers with a limit to their spending capabilities.
Andre Plaatjie, GM Swakopmund Municipality corporate services, said that the prices were much higher than their first closed sale in January, where 50 erven were sold. In fact within the first hour they sold the largest erf which was priced at N$384 000 for N$675 250 to local resident Frances Kolofus who nabbed himself a good investment.
Members of the public sitting in the hall waiting to hear if their bids were successful were disgruntled at how high the prices had shot up from the original upset figures, and it was clear that people were prepared to pay through their nose for an erf.
“People are hungry for land, but the man in the street simply can’t afford these prices, and with the sale open to everyone, it becomes a cheque book fight and the first time buyer doesn’t stand a chance,” said one of the bidders.
“People are just pushing up the prices and not even considering the area, because I could find myself something in Ocean View for these prices, which would have far better resale value,” said one disappointed buyer.
He said he came in with an offer of N$320 000 for a 524 sqM in size, which was set down at N$191 265, but went for N$500 000 instead.
In order to take part in the bid a registration fee of N$3 000 was payable to the Municipality, as set-out in the Conditions of Sale document. Each bidder is able to make five offers, but will only qualify if selected for one erf. If the bidder is unable to pay the full amount of the erf to the Municipality within 120 days, the transaction is allocated to the next highest qualifier.
The next date of sale is planned for March 31 with the last one to be held on June 2.
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