New mall shines a light on the great value in Johannesburg’s new south

The R1.8 billion Mall of the South has now been open for just over six months, and has raised the profile of the surrounding areas to the south of Johannesburg, according to Johan van Tonder, the Rawson Property Group's franchisee for the area.

The 65 000 m² super-regional mall at the corner of Swartkoppies Road and Kliprivier Drive in Aspen Hills has more than 170 shops and restaurants. It is also easy reach for residents of suburbs such as Glenvista and Mulbarton, as well as parts of Alberton such as Meyersdal, Brackenhurst and Brackendowns.

“We are seeing an increased awareness of these areas now among potential homebuyers, which gives us the opportunity to showcase their many other attractions, including excellent schools, panoramic views, and easy access to the Johannesburg CBD and East Rand,” says van Tonder.

“There are also several security estates in these areas that offer extremely good value for money, as well as top-class golf courses, many other sporting facilities and a nature reserve where you can view a great diversity of wildlife and many items of archaeological and historical interest.”

More important, says van Tonder, this sweep of suburbs in what is often termed the New South offers a huge variety of modern homes to suit everyone from first-time buyers to retired people, and including newlyweds, growing families and top executives.

“Probably the best-known part of the New South is Glenvista, a large suburb which is said to house more self-made millionaires than any other part of Johannesburg, and is in such a beautiful location that those who are lucky enough to live there seldom want to leave.

“In fact, almost half of its current homeowners (47 percent) have lived in Glenvista for more than 10 years, and about 70 percent of recent buyers have been over the age of 35, and are mostly repeat buyers wanting to settle down in their second or third homes.”

The Glenvista Country Club with its immaculate golf course lies at the heart of the suburb, and many homes here offer spectacular views as they are built on the surrounding rocky koppies, while others are on large stands with well-established gardens that are ideal for family buyers, he says.

And yet, according to property data company Lightstone, the average price of the freehold homes sold in Glenvista over the past 12 months is just R2.1 million, and the average price of the sectional title units sold in the same period is R1.2m. Van Tonder says this represents outstanding value for money when considering what the area offers in access and facilities.

“In fact, even at the top end of the local market, the most expensive home we have for sale in Glenvista is a multi-storey four-bedroom house with magnificent views as well as three bathrooms, four living and entertainment areas, staff accommodation, a pool, four garages and a large garden, all for R4.9m.”

However, for younger buyers, the Alberton suburbs of Brackenhurst and Brackendowns are an even better bet, van Tonder says, as there are many three-bedroom townhouses available here priced from around R850 000. There are also solid three and four bedroom homes with large gardens that are selling rapidly at the moment priced from around R1.3m to R1.6m.

“In addition, Alberton has many attractions, including a well-run municipality, minimal traffic congestion, a wide variety of shopping and entertainment venues, good medical facilities and a number of highly-rated primary and high schools.

“Brackendowns and Brackenhurst are also within easy reach of the thriving Alrode industrial area, which is home to a number of high-profile manufacturing companies, and offer easy access to the freeway system for those working in other parts of Gauteng.”

For more affluent buyers, he says, the suburb of Meyersdal is increasingly sought-after for its luxury lifestyle estates such as the Meyersdal Nature Estate where stand prices start at around R2m, and the adjacent Meyersdal Eco Estate, where the maximum home listing price has reached almost R50m. Rawsons is marketing several luxury four and five-bedroom homes at prices ranging from R7m to R25m.

“One of the strong attractions of these estates is their low density. In the Meyersdal Eco Estate, for example, only 15 percent of the estate is being developed and the stands are large with an average size of 2 000m². The remaining portion of the estate is reserved for natural vegetation, wildlife and 14 species of free-roaming game. The three dams on the estate have been stocked with indigenous fish species and almost 100 bird species have been recorded.

“The communal facilities on the estate include a clubhouse with a pub and a lounge and a large function hall with a terrace; 16km of mountain bike track; a 7km hiking trail; squash and tennis courts; a campsite and two game-viewing decks. And security provisions include a control room, perimeter fence cameras, controlled access and regular patrols.”

And finally, for those in the know, van Tonder says, the Alberante estate, originally one of the first extensions of Alberton, consists of gracious family homes on very large stands that are also close to good primary and high schools, as well as the Reading golf course. Prices here generally range from R2.3m to just under R4m. Also available are homes that have been extensively modernised and upgraded, priced from around R4.5m to R7.5m.

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