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Academia boosts Lynnwood market

Lynnwood in the heart of Pretoria's academic precinct is regaining favour as a residential suburb.

Sandra Steenkamp, Aida's area agent, reports that new security initiatives have stemmed the tide of residents relocating to boomed areas on Pretoria's far eastern boundary. "Indeed," she says, "the trend has been reversed, with many former residents joining new buyers in the quest for homes close to the University of Pretoria as well as prestigious schools such as St Mary’s DSG, Affies - the two Afrikaans Hoër schools - and the Pretoria Boys and Pretoria Girls high schools."

Five entrances to the suburb have been boomed and are guarded after 6pm, while several areas within the suburb have additional booms and security measures. The whole area is also patrolled, she says.

Academics, researchers and other staff at the CSIR, and parents who wish to enrol their children at top local schools form a strong component of buyers and they are not dissuaded by the premium price per square meter that the suburb commands.

"Top homes are selling at up to R6000/sqm, but buyers seem willing to pay for the convenience of living in this area," says Steenkamp. "They avoid heavy rush hour traffic to get to school or varsity and former residents who are returning often cite long commuting times from suburbs on the city's edge as a strong motivator."

Although Lynnwood Road and Atterbury Road are busy in peak times, Steenkamp says flow has improved thanks to the upgrades to the on and off ramps from the N1 highway. "And because these two main routes carry most of the suburb's peak time traffic, the side streets and lanes are quiet with very little traffic other than residential trips."

The Gautrain bus service has proved very popular among residents travelling to offices near the highway, which contributes to lower traffic volumes, as does school bus services.

Properties priced at R1,5m to R3m are selling well at the moment and are mostly comfortable family homes.  Apartments and town houses, which represent about 30% of Lynnwood properties, are available for less than R1,5m, while top properties in nodes such as Strubenkop reach prices of up to R16m.

Steenkamp adds that residents benefit from a strong sense of community, with retired academics notably active in community affairs. "Many serve on the local residents' association, which keenly protects the character of Lynnwood as a residential suburb and acts fast against illicit businesses in residential zones."



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