Hot zones for property buyers in Gauteng

By all accounts, the next two years are going to be challenging for the residential property market, thanks to rising interest rates and slow economic growth.

Artist’s impression of Mall of Africa, which is due to open soon in the new Waterfall City business district.

However, says David Jacobs, regional manager for the Rawson Property Group’s northern and KZN regions, there will always be hotspots where sales and prices continue to rise even in difficult times, and there are several of these spread across Gauteng.

“What is more, it is becoming increasingly clear that the sustained demand in such areas is generally driven by a few factors they have in common, and relate to three big lifestyle trends.”

These are:

- Downsizing from large suburban properties to smaller homes that offer more security, relief from rising property rates and utility costs and more energy-efficient or off-the-grid living expenses,

- Re-centralisation from outer suburbs and estates back to inner suburbs and city centres to avoid road travel and reduce the amount of time and money spent commuting to work and back.

- New urbanism, or the preference for self-contained areas that offer workplaces, good education facilities, shops and leisure venues all within easy reach of home.

Taken together, he says, these trends point to areas where there is plenty of new residential development of various kinds, and which are close to a commercial hub and a regional or super-regional shopping centre with a huge variety of retailers as well as restaurants, movies and probably a gym all under one roof. Then for families with children, the selection will most likely be further narrowed down to suburbs that are also close to established and highly-rated schools.

“It should be no surprise that the following areas, in alphabetical order, are among the hottest property zones in Gauteng:

Menlyn and Menlo Park in Pretoria. Menlyn is home to the massive Menlyn Park shopping centre and the high-profile Menlyn Maine green city development, and is shaping up as the Sandton of Pretoria, and homes here and in the neighbouring suburbs of Ashlea Gardens and Menlo Park are in demand and short supply. There are brand new apartments for sale in these areas priced from around R1.2 million for one-bedroom units and just under R2m for two-bedroom units. However, this node is also very popular with families, as it is within easy reach of most of the city’s top schools, and traditional stand-alone homes are being snapped up at prices from around R1.85m for three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Noordwyk in Midrand has become increasingly trendy in recent times and is much more affordable than Waterfall. Prices for bachelor apartments here start at around R440 000, one-bedroom units at R475 000 and two-bedroom apartments at R570 000. Prices for townhouses start at around R620 000 for two-bedroom, one bathroom options and there are also several cluster complexes with modern three and four bedroom homes priced from around R1.2m. Many of Midrand’s business parks and corporate headquarters are on the doorstep, as well as the Gautrain station which enables residents to commute to Sandton, Johannesburg, Centurion or Pretoria. Noordwyk also has several top schools, an action sports centre and a large gym, and is close to several shopping centres.

Rivonia in Johannesburg. As the Sandton CBD continues to expand and traffic congestion continues to increase, the demand for apartments close to the offices in the area continues to rise. However, those in Sandown, although sought after, are now proving to be too expensive for many, so sales in neighbouring Rivonia are soaring as a result. Prices for apartments in the many new developments in the area start at around R600 000 for studios, R800 000 for one-bedroom units and R1m for two-bedroom units. The area is also close to the Sandton City super-regional shopping and entertainment complex and well supplied with convenience shops and public transport options.

Rosebank and Parktown in Johannesburg has become one of the most desirable nodes in the city for young professionals and executives since the inception of the Gautrain. Billions of rands have been spent on upgrading the local infrastructure and revamping the Rosebank shopping and entertainment precinct, and this has prompted several new offices and high-rise apartment blocks. Prices of the flats in these blocks start at around R1.6m for one-bedroom units and around R2m for two-bedroom units, but there are more affordable options available in neighbouring Killarney and especially Parktown, and all three areas are also within easy reach of the city’s top schools.

Waterfall in Midrand, where the giant Mall of Africa is set to open shortly at the heart of the new Waterfall City business district, is already home to several new office and hotel developments, and is surrounded by new residential developments offering buyers a range of options. The Waterfall area also offers residents quick and easy access to the N1 and other commercial nodes such as the Midrand CBD, Woodmead, Rivonia, Sunninghill and Fourways. Home prices here start at around R1.4m for one-bedroom apartments and around R4m for a brand new three or four bedroom family home in an estate.

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