Rapidly evolving Rosebank in a league of its own

One of Johannesburg’s most dynamic suburbs has changed dramatically in recent years, transforming  from a vibey residential enclave into the template for successful mixed use areas and, in a city known for its crippling traffic congestion, Rosebank is also one of very few places where once can easily live without a car.

Freestanding houses now account for only 9.6% of the properties in Rosebank and this four bedroom family home in Sturdee Avenue which recently sold for R5.75 million is also zoned for new sectional title development.

Almost 91% of all residential properties in Rosebank are now sectional title and the suburb’s evolution is marked by the crucial fact that around 80% of current home owners only purchased in the area in the past five years. The number of sectional title registrations hit an all-time high of 159 last year, up from just 20 in 2015 and a previous high of 38 registrations in 2010.

Di Kuhlenthal, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says: “Rosebank has become a very vibrant, multi-cultural node that is especially popular with young professionals working in the area as well as executives who commute to Johannesburg for work purposes from other parts of the country.

“The suburb caters to most budgets and needs as it offers buyers a very broad choice of apartments, from starter studios or older one bedroom flats at around R1 million to super luxury penthouses for up to R18m, although most sales are between R1.5m and R3m.”

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says this is clearly indicated in the most recent Lightstone data on the suburb covering the 12 months ending 28 February 2017.

“It shows that 164 sectional title properties changed hands with a total value of just over R350m. Of these, the majority (111) were in the R1.5m to R3m price band at an average sale price of R2.07m, while the second most active price bracket comprised homes between R800 000 and R1.5m in which 29 sales realised an average unit price of R1.35m.

“However, the top end also performed reasonably well – especially given the overall economic climate – and 19 apartments priced above R3m were sold, at an average unit sale price in this bracket of R4.07m for the 12-month period.”

Five apartments sold for less than R800 000, with the lowest sale price being R400 000 whilst the others averaged R755 000.

Although freehold homes now account for less than 10% of the property landscape there were eight transactions during the 12 months to February 2017 at an average unit sale price of R11.6m but Geffen notes that these properties have become a very scarce market commodity.

Kuhlenthal explains: “Developers have bought up many of the older houses to demolish and replace with sectional title units or office blocks, while others have been converted into businesses.

“However, despite the stellar growth of Rosebank’s commercial sector, the district also offers its residents an array of amenities and facilities, including superb shopping malls, restaurants and pavement cafes, markets, hotels, cinemas, galleries and night clubs.”

She adds: “Along with much of Gauteng, Rosebank’s market got off to a sluggish start this year with only 15 of the 164 sales being concluded during the last three months of the suburb report period from December to February, but the summer holidays were a contributing factor and sales have been steady.

“The fact remains that people want to live in Rosebank as it offers a higher level of convenience than any other suburb; residents can walk wherever they need to go within the area and it is also well serviced by public transport including the convenience of hopping onto the Gautrain to get to OR Tambo, Pretoria, Sandton or Midrand.

“There are also several good schools nearby including Kingsmead, Pridwin and Bellavista.”

Rosebank is unique in that it has a very successful commercial node within a pleasant working, shopping and entertainment environment, without losing its character and charm as a residential suburb.

Rosebank’s success has also been rewarded by the municipality’s declaration that it is a priority infrastructure and service delivery improvement node within greater Johannesburg.

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