Boom time for Bedfordview residential market

The leafy, upmarket East Rand suburb of Bedfordview is experiencing a notable surge in demand for residential property as investors are increasingly drawn by its convenient location and wide range of property options which cater to all needs and budgets.

This is the face of the new Bedfordview; a house that offers, among others, five luxury en-suite bedrooms, a gym with heated Roman bath, steam shower and sauna, a Jacuzzi and entertainment deck with swimming pool, a cinema, cocktail pub, cigar lounge, private lift, under-floor heating and air-conditioning, fully automated security, lighting and audio systems, an ultra-modern kitchen with integrated SMEG appliances, two staff accommodations rooms and six automated garages. The house is on the market for R29.5 million. (Picture: Sotheby’s International Realty)

Tanya Sakota, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Bedfordview CEO says: “Although the residential market in Bedfordview was slow to recover from the 2008 credit crunch, it’s really gathered momentum in the past three years and we are now experiencing stock shortages in certain areas.”

Sakota explains: “The most popular properties are those in the lower to mid-level segment of the market and at the moment we simply cannot supply enough homes in the R2.5 million to R3.4m price band, in spite of there currently being 70 properties on our books, with an average of three to four new homes being listed with us weekly.” 

Although Bedfordview has an upmarket reputation and is regarded as an aspirant neighbourhood, its broad property range offers excellent investment opportunities for a wide investor demographic, from first time buyers and young families, to captains of industry seeking trophy homes.   
Says Sakota: “It’s one of the few suburbs where one can buy a one bedroom apartment for R700 000 as well as a palatial five bedroom home for up to R30m – and every property type and price band in between.”

“Although area-wise Bedfordview still consists largely of freehold full title properties, when one considers the number of sectional title units per complex, the development of apartment block complexes over the past decade has considerably raised the number of sectional title properties in the area and they now outnumber freehold properties.

According to Sakota, the most sought after area is Upper Bedfordview. Not only is it situated furthest away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping centres and restaurants with many of the properties boasting spectacular views, it is also not far from the busy access points to the three major highways which make Bedfordview so conveniently located.

“The entry level price in this area normally begins at no less than R3.2m, and for this price a buyer can expect either a free standing family home which requires considerable renovation or a very old house on a sizeable erf which will be demolished to make way for a modern home, or even two when erf size allows.  There are also a few smaller cluster homes in a similar price range which would most likely also need upgrading or modernisation.”

The upper segment of the market has also recovered well,” says Sakota, “with the most recent sale of a top end property being a six bedroom, triple storey home on a 2500m² erf with a cinema lounge, garage for 15 cars and a fully equipped gym which sold for R29m earlier this year.”
Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty attributes Bedfordview’s increasing popularity to several key factors.

“Not only is Bedfordview only 10 minutes from OR Tambo Airport which makes it ideal for people who travel regularly, it is also in close proximity to the N3 and N12 freeways as well as the Gillooly’s interchange, which offers residents an easy commute to most areas in Johannesburg, including the CBD and Sandton City.”

“Buyers are also being drawn to Bedfordview in the wake of substantial investment in the suburb’s commercial nodes and surrounding industrial areas and many prominent companies have relocated to the area. The convenience of living close to work has stimulated all market sectors, including the rental market, as both business owners and employees seek the convenience of shorter commutes.”

Geffen adds: “The burgeoning demand as well as the variety of property options available has resulted in a very cosmopolitan demographic, and Bedfordview is home to a variety of cultures and classes from top-earning professionals and young families starting out to recent Muslim investors and established Italian and Greek communities.”

Bedfordview also offers residents the convenience of close proximity to a choice of first rate shopping malls and entertainment centres as well as open family-friendly spaces like the Vodacom Driving Range and Gilloolly’s Farm, which is a peaceful haven in the midst of suburbia.

Greater Bedfordview boasts several of the top private schools in the country, including Reddam, Saheti School, St Andrews and St Benedicts which are all renowned for their excellent pass rates.
Sakota says: “Forty years ago, Bedfordview was still sprawling farmland, but the growing demand for residential property over the next three decades saw the gradual subdivision of this land and the subsequent development of a suburb which became known for its large erven, quiet tree-lined streets and spacious homes.

“Until as recently as 12 years ago, there were still a few agricultural properties in the area with cattle roaming the fields, but as the demand for residential property has grown ,ALL of these enduring farms have also been subdivided and sold off.  There are now very few sizeable vacant plots left as the remaining land in the area is now slowly but surely being developed into cluster homes.”

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