Integrated lifestyle suburbs set to become new property hotspots for Johannesburg buyers

As Joburg city continues to expand, becoming busier almost by the week, residents are facing increased stress and, while many find the bustling urban lifestyle appealing, family buyers especially tend to opt for quieter neighbourhoods, says Seeff Randburg managing director. The search for a secure, more tranquil lifestyle that offers a real escape from the city is further compounded by rising petrol and transport costs and the time taken up by travelling.

While people are often happy to commute for work, they really do not want to still commute for schools, shopping and other conveniences. We are consequently likely to see a greater migration towards integrated lifestyle suburbs, he says. Neighbourhoods that offer top class security and an almost village-like environment with conveniences such as top schools, shopping and medical care will increasingly find appeal with buyers looking to enjoy their down-time without having to spend too much travelling time, he adds.

These suburbs are also likely to deliver strong property value growth for home investors, says Ketcher. A suburb such as Little Falls, a real gem on the western fringes of the city for example has seen strong capital growth for those who invested wisely. If you had bought or built here ten years ago, you would have paid about R700,000 for an upmarket home. Today, you can expect to pay upwards of R2 million for the same home. Having said this, you can still find significantly more value here compared to older suburbs in the city, says agent, Jess McDowell. You are also unlikely to find a comparable country lifestyle with conveniences on your doorstep. Here, she adds, residents can still walk around the neighbourhood in the evening and children can play and ride their bicycles without security concerns.

Little Falls is located at the foot of the Little Falls Mountain that is home to the endangered Black Eagle. Security is top class as there are only two entrances into the suburb that is home to a greenbelt area that is being upgraded. The Residents' Association has also been converted to a Section 21 company and is set to further improve security and other community matters such as keeping vagrants off the mountain, she says.

It is a modern suburb, only about twenty years old with trendy homes, many of which have been renovated and upgraded. Most of the residents have owned their homes for a long time and there have been very little distressed sales in the area, says McDowell. It is one of those solid neighbourhoods and those in the know, treasure the lifestyle on offer here.

The infrastructure in the suburb has grown massively over the past three years. Integrated into the neighbourhood are two shopping centres with big anchor tenants Like Spar and Pick and Pay. The Checkers store is also undergoing a revamp. An added attraction is a new Trinity House private school, something that has already encouraged significant interest from family buyers looking for a secure and convenient residential area, says McDowell. The big Clearwater Shopping precinct, a Macro Store and Value Centre, Virgin Active Gym and medical and legal services are also just down the road and the Ruimsig and Eagle Canyon Golf courses are close by.

Living here also does not necessarily mean long commutes for those who work around the city, says the agent. Its location just off Hendrik Potgieter Drive provides quick access to the concrete highway, but the Krugersdorp highway is probably the best bet for accessibility to Randburg, Sandton, Midrand and even Pretoria.

Property buyers will find something to suit every need and budget, from townhouses and clusters to lovely estate homes. Townhouses start at around R620,000 for a two-bedroomed unit. Spacious family homes with four bedrooms sell for upwards of R2,4 million for a modern home with a Jacuzzi and swimming pool. Buyers with a budget around mid-R3 million, could look at a modern home located on the top of the hill next to Eagle View with stunning views of the surrounding country side, says the agent. This ultra-spacious home comes with five double bedrooms. It is set on a large plot of 2,500sqm with a magnificent landscaped garden that is terraced and includes a feature swimming pool, koi ponds and a stunning lapa. Echo filters and bore hole serves the koi ponds and swimming pool. The home includes spacious living rooms, a designer kitchen, indoor and outdoor entertainment areas, staff accommodation, a double garage and additional visitors' parking.

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