How to save money on property

Cape Town property prices are regularly described as being “like, fully out of control, bru”.
If you’ve already got your foot on a rung of the property ladder, that’s not something that will really bother you. Maybe you might even consider it good news. But if you’re yet to move into property ownership, then that first step can seem ridiculously far out of reach.

This is widely touted as a problem which is new to Millennials, but only by anyone who never tried buying anything decent in Sheffield (or anything at all in Oxford) on a microbiologist’s wage in the 1990s.

Just saying.

So, you want to find a way of getting more for less, and who can blame you? Everyone loves a bargain. Step forward then, some high school girls from the Sacred Heart College (SHC) in Geelong, Melbourne, Australia.

If you are looking for an affordable home in your preferred suburb, it may pay to find the street with the silliest name.
House prices on streets with silly names are significantly lower than houses on nearby streets, a study by Victorian school students has found.

(That’s students from a state in Australia, as mentioned above, not from the late 1800s.)

Working with staff from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the University of Sydney and a Melbourne real estate agent, the girls analysed house sales on the streets over the past 47 years.
They found that property prices in streets with silly names were about 20 per cent lower than properties in the normally-named roads.
As the report notes, that amounts to a $140,000 saving on a median-priced Melbourne house.

That’s R1.4m, which (after some rudimentary calculations) also tells us that a median-priced house in Melbourne costs R7m and kinda puts those wild claims about Cape Town back into some kind of perspective.

The students identified 27 streets in Victoria with silly names, including Butt Street, Wanke Road and Fanny Street.


I’m rather busy at the moment, so I don’t have chance to follow up on this in too much depth right now, but there’s a De Cock Avenue in Deurdrift:

And a Dikkop Close in Pelikan Park:

And I even found a Fanny Avenue in Joburg:

The biggest issue with that last one being that not only do you live on Fanny Avenue, you also live in Joburg. (Also, “Lung Candy, Norwood”?!?)

I don’t know if the house prices in any of these roads are lower than their local peers, but if you are looking for a way to knock a bar off your first (or next) house, then this would seem to be the best way of going about it.

Thank me later.

House prices

This is not a comment on the crazy prices for property in Cape Town. Even with ‘semigration’, the Mountain, those beaches, dem winelands and the fact that it’s not in Gauteng, those property prices in Cape Town are crazy.

But, like I said, that’s not what this post is about.

This is a post about me wondering how the people who come up with those house prices, come up with those house prices. And here’s the property that prompted it, sent to me earlier this morning.

Now, before we go any further, I know that once this house is sold, it will disappear from the internet. So here’s a screenshot, in case you’re reading this in 2022 or something.

Again, I’m not commenting on whether the price quoted makes this a great deal or a complete rip-off. How much do you charge for interior features like “House Levels”, anyway?

No. I’m commenting on the selling price.

How did they arrive at that figure? (It’s about $235,000 or £178,000 for you uitlanders, by the way.)

It’s basically got to be a disagreement between the houseowner and the agent, hasn’t it?

The estate agent felt that R3,250,000 would be a reasonable place to start, only to be told by an indignant owner that they wanted it on the market for R3,400,000 “and not a penny less!”.

How would that conversation have panned out? Well, the estate agent will have surely have pushed back…

“But no-one will look at it if we put it on at R3,400,000. It’s too high. Believe me, I’m an expert in this property market.”

“No-one will look at it?!?! It’s got 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a kitchenette which could easily be converted to a full kitchen on the lower level and a well appointed kitchen and scullery on the upper level. That’s 1½ kitchens, mate. One. And. A. Half. Kitchens. R3,400,000.”

“Hmm. The kitchen thing is good, yes. How about R3,300,000 then?”

“OK. I’ll meet you halfway. R3,350,000. Not a penny less!”

“Well, a lot of people on our website actually search for properties which are less than R3,333,333, because they simply can’t be arsed to move their finger from the 3 key once it’s there. Marketed at R3,350,000, your property won’t be in those searches. And fewer views means less chance of selling. How about R3,325,000?”

“How about R3,330,000?”

“How about R3,327,500?”

“Well… OK then. But it’d better sell quickly.”

“I’m sure it will, it’s a great property.”


“I’m sorry, what?”


I don’t want to buy this house. It’s ugly and it has too much kitchen space.
And it’s got a weird price tag.