Sunny outlook for residential market in Sunninghill

The vibrant northern suburb of Sunninghill in Johannesburg is becoming increasingly popular with young professionals as it not only offers a wide property choice from affordable starter apartments to upmarket family homes, but also easy access to all the major commercial areas.

JEWEL IN THE CROWN: This beautifully renovated original farmstead in Sunninghill is set on 8 400m² of indigenous grounds. On the market for R20 million, it boasts a three en suite bedroom main house with private cinema and library, a two bedroom cottage, staff accommodation, African boma and burbling streams.

According to Jade Bradnick, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, first time investors can get their foot in the market from as little as R550 000, with prices ranging all the way up to around R4.5 million for a spacious modern cluster or one of the few remaining freehold houses.

“Depending on size, condition and location of the complex, sectional title properties range up to about R1.8 m for a three bedroom unit at the top end of the market with clusters and houses realising between R3m and R4.5m in the upper market segments.

“The most active price band is the lower to mid-market segment with properties under R2.5m being most in demand.”

Bradnick says that the majority of new investors are first time buyers as well as young families, but that Sunninghill also has an active market of buyers who are already residents but are looking to upgrade or down scale as many will not consider leaving the area.

However, this affordable gem in the heart of the affluent Northern Suburbs does have a crown jewel, which has just become its once-in-a-lifetime investment.

“The stunningly renovated original area farmhouse has just come onto the market and is set on around 8 400m² of landscaped indigenous grounds with a gracious three bedroom main house and separate two bedroom cottage. With its own library and cinema and generous entertainment areas, this unique property is truly a haven amidst urban densification.”

According to Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, the market in Sunninghill has improved significantly since the last credit crunch in 2008, experiencing a high turnover of properties as well as offering a high return on investment.

“Accessible markets with a varied property selection like Sunninghill which have enjoyed a continued growth in demand are likely to weather the current economic slump better than most areas and we have already started to see the pattern for 2016.

“Certain investors who are worried about where the economy is going are looking to sell off additional properties to free up cash whilst other investors believe property to be the safest investment in the current and are choosing to bite the bullet for the security of owning an asset.”

This is supported by Bradnick’s recent comparison between the number of show houses in Sunninghill and its neighbouring suburbs.

“On average, there are between 15 and 25 show houses every weekend in Sunninghill, while in surrounding areas, there are at most between 10 and 15.”

Another factor that is driving the market is the adjacent Waterfall development which is currently under construction.

Bradnick says that not only will Sunninghill residents have easy access to one of the largest malls in Africa, but demand will surge as many employees will not be able to afford to buy property in the high end residential areas surrounding the development.

“This will also drive the investment market even further as the demand for rental property will increase.”

This market is already very active as Sunninghill also has a substantial commercial component and is home to large companies such as Acer, Eskom, Price Waterhouse Coopers, RCI and Unisys, many of which regularly bring in staff from other areas in South Africa as well as from abroad.

According to Bradnick, the successful co-existence of the residential and commercial sectors in Sunninghill offers many residents the benefit and convenience of working very close to home, which is rare in Johannesburg where traffic congestion and long commuting hours are the order of the day for most people.

However, the suburb’s location also offers easy access to the M!, M3 and R101 freeways, which link them directly to the city centre, Sandton and Midrand.

Young families are also drawn to the suburb because there are many preschools in the area as well as a nearby primary and high school. Sunninghill is also within the catchment area for Rivonia Primary School.

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