Well placed urban properties offer great investment returns

Well located urban properties, from that convenient city pad to the family townhouse or the coveted buy-to-let property can provide buyers with great investment returns over the long term. This is according to Fine & Country which have a number of offices in Johannesburg specialising in the sale of urban properties.

Linda Erasmus, CEO of Fine & Country Sub-Saharan Africa, says that city living is all about convenience and having a good selection of amenities at your fingertips to enhance the fast pace of life in the bustling metropolis. “Johannesburg is a wonderful city that provides property buyers with such a wide selection from which to choose. From equestrian, golf and other lifestyle estates with all amenities within their walls, to sectional title apartments ideal for first time buyers, family homes, executive penthouses and luxury properties; this city really has it all.”

Three key areas in Johannesburg’s suburbia where buyers can benefit from property investment include Midrand, Sandton and Alberton.

Elizabeth McKenzie, Licensee of Fine & Country Midrand, says that it’s no secret that Midrand has enjoyed exponential growth in the last two decades and continues on the upward trajectory, defying the Gauteng market which has flat-lined over the past year. 

“I have lived in Midrand for 32 years and witnessed this exciting growth first hand. With a population 87 000 (2011 Census) and a diverse demographic underpinned by the ongoing rapid commercial growth, Midrand remains an attractive area in which to invest. The Waterfall Precinct has added to this with investors capitalising on the high rental demand and achieving above average rental price per square metre,” she says.

Mark Mitchley, MD of Fine & Country Sandton, says that urban residences in his office’s area of operation are good investment options as they are close to the Sandton CBD and a number of good schools, both private and government. “Prices in our areas have traditionally performed well when compared to other areas in the country,” he says.

Greg Demetriou, Licensee of Fine & Country Alberton, says that properties within the Alberton area are a good investment option due to the value for money they offer as well as the fact that the area is well established.

Fine & Country Midrand is positioned in the upper quartile of the market and is well placed tp service the secure lifestyle estates as well as within some of the premium equestrian lifestyle estates in the area.

Talking about price points, McKenzie notes that within the Waterfall Precinct, entry-level homes start at R5million, while mid-level homes are priced between R6million and R8million with the top end homes priced upwards to R55million and more.

“The diverse spectrum of properties in this area, which range from large agricultural equestrian properties to luxury lifestyle estate living and stylish apartments, Midrand draws a cross section of buyers,” says McKenzie. She adds that over the years, the increase of amenities and a profusion of schools accommodate most potential buyers’ requirements. Naturally, the secure lifestyle estates demand a premium price per square metre.  

“While there is a significant demand for secure lifestyle estates within the Midrand area, sectional title developments retain a significant share of this property market with a staggering 500% increase in sectional title properties developed in Midrand since 2000. All of these sectional title homes have been developed within secure, gated communities. This is indicative of a healthy long term outlook for Midrand, which holds appeal for young, first-time buyers who will up-scale long term and hopefully keep the cycle moving.”

Buyers looking to purchase a property within the greater Sandton area can expect to pay around R1million for an entry-level townhouse or apartment, between R3million and R8million for a cluster home or freestanding full-title property, while top-end homes will set you back somewhere between R10million and R50million.

Mitchley says that the entry-level and mid-level homes are currently showing the most movement within the greater Sandton and northern suburbs of Johannesburg regions.

Secure developments, both sectional title units and full title cluster homes, or homes in a guarded boomed area are the most in demand, while buyers tend to be professionals with two-income households, due to the proximity to the Sandton CBD, according to Mitchley. “Buyers within our areas of operation place great importance on security and proximity to good schools and the Sandton CBD.”

In Alberton and surrounds, entry-level homes are priced at around R1,4million, while mid-level homes sell for approximately R2,2million and the upper end homes in the area have price tags from R3,5million upwards.

“Mid-level homes that are priced between R2,2million and R3million are currently seeing the most movement in our property market currently,” says Demetriou, “with buyers in the area typically young families between 35 and 40 years old. Security is the one factor that our buyers place utmost importance on,” he says.

In Midrand, McKenzie says that the notable increase in executive office parks, an expanding Waterfall Mall and additional upmarket retail shopping centres drives a positive sentiment of an ever growing urban city.

Talking about trends in the greater Sandton area, Mitchley says that while there are a number of properties on offer, only the correctly priced properties are selling. “Overpriced properties stay on the market until sellers eventually get their pricing in line with the market,” he says.

“While these three Johannesburg suburbs have vastly different pricing and appeal, they all represent good investment options for those looking to buy property within the city of gold,” Erasmus concludes.

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