Douglasdale a residential property ‘hotspot’

Properties are currently in great demand in Douglasdale, a Johannesburg residential suburb situated between the suburbs of Fourways and Bryanston, and the property market there is performing well, says Jason Shaw, area manager of the Fourways/Dainfern office of Pam Golding Properties (PGP). 

This property in Douglasdale Green Park is on the market through Pam Golding Properties for R3. 65 million

“Douglasdale may be described as a residential property ‘hotspot’ of the area and homes here do not usually remain on the market for very long, and can be snapped up within a matter of weeks,” adds Shaw. “This is not surprising as properties in the suburb are generally well priced. Indeed, homes are so highly sought after in some areas that they can sometimes be difficult to find.”

According to Shaw, another indicator of how well the area is performing can be gleaned from a record price that was recently achieved by PGP for a full title cluster home in Douglasdale.  The home fetched a record R3.925 million compared to the previous high for the area of R3.65 million.

“Douglasdale is central but leafy and appealing, offering an outdoor lifestyle that is very hard to beat,” notes PGP property agent and area specialist Kyle Ebben. “There is also a range of different property options available which attract a variety of buyers from the middle to upper end of the market. Such options include some large full title homes, clusters or sectional title units.”

Douglasdale is a fairly well established area and while there are a number of new developments here, there are also some older, larger family homes. There are approximately 1000 free standing homes, 1200 cluster homes and 2500 sectional title properties in the area, notes Ebben.

He says that those looking to buy in the Douglasdale tend to be very knowledgeable about the property market and are keen to purchase a home that offers good value for money. “Many residents are young professionals 30 to 45 years old with two or more children. There are also older individuals whose children have left home and they are looking to scale down from larger properties in suburbs such as Bryanston. Douglasdale still offers magnificent homes but on compact properties that are more easily maintained,” he explains.

Other individuals who typically buy in the area are younger couples or individuals who move from sectional title units in nearby areas such as Fourways to the more upmarket Douglasdale. Still others fall in love with the suburb and buy and sell while remaining in the area, moving from sectional title properties to larger cluster properties or free standing homes as they advance in their careers and lives. 

PGP property agent and area specialist Brandon Marsh notes that a full title home in Douglasdale will fetch anything from R1.4 million to R4 million with the majority priced between R1.5 and R2.5 million. Clusters are generally placed on the market from between R1.8 million and R3 million while the asking price for the ever-popular sectional title units in the area is between R 750 000 and R1.25 million.

The suburb has been developed on what was originally the Douglasdale Farm, which was started in 1905 by Scotsman Thomas Douglas and his wife Janet who immigrated to South Africa in 1890. They called their farm Douglasdale and would later develop a highly regarded dairy that is still known for its milk today.

Marsh says that one of the reasons the suburb is so popular is because residents have such a strong sense of community. “There is a great community vibe and people are often walking, running or engaging in other group activities.”

He says even more importantly perhaps is the fact that residents become involved in their community, working together to combat crime and develop the suburb’s infrastructure. The Sector 6 Forum, for example, alerts the authorities to infringements of bylaws and helps to ensure that these are complied with. The suburb is also beautifully maintained and most of the homes and complexes keep their verges attractive. “All this tends to add value to the individual homes in this increasingly prestigious suburb,” observes Marsh.

This home in Douglasdale is on sale through Pam Golding Properties for R1. 68 million
He says that the development that is going on across Fourways and its surrounds is very positive for the future of suburbs such as Douglasdale. There have been infrastructural improvements and other forms of development including the construction of shopping centres, offices and housing estates all of which bode well for the property market of the greater Fourways area. The freeways and on-ramps have been upgraded which has helped to ease traffic congestion. 

Marsh says that Douglasdale offers easy access to the eight-lane N1 freeway and Sandton, South Africa’s financial capital. It is also close to Lanseria Airport, which is a hub for flights to other South African cities and charter flights to Africa. 

“The Fourways and Bryanston areas have rapidly developed their own business hubs and many companies, including some major corporates, have set up there,” he observes. “This has assisted in further fuelling demand for homes in areas such as Douglasdale as increasingly more people opt for the convenience of living close to where they work and where their children go to school.”

Marsh adds that there are a number of outstanding schools nearby the suburb including Dainfern College, Crawford College, St Stithians College, Brescia House, Michael Mount Waldorf School, British International College, Heronbridge and The French School Lycée Jules Verne. 

He says that while most homes in Douglasdale are purchased as primary residences there is also an active rental market in the area and some high rentals are achieved, as the area is appreciated by executives and families for its proximity to work, schools and good shopping. 

Clusters in high-end security estates are particularly popular among international companies seeking suitable accommodation for their staff. It should be borne in mind, however, that this market can be very particular. Homes need to be suitably appointed to appeal to international corporates, so those investors who are looking to enter the market should be sure to speak to an area expert before purchasing such a property for the buy to let market. Marsh suggests that a four bedroomed cluster in Douglasdale can fetch between R14 000 and R18 000 in rentals per month.   

As noted above, there is a large number of shopping and entertainment centres in the area including Fourways Mall, Fourways Crossing, Montecasino, the Valley Shopping Centre, Cedar Square and the Design Quarter. For those seeking real convenience, the Douglasdale Shopping Centre is situated within the suburb. The Netcare Olivedale, Netcare Sunninghill, and Fourways Life hospitals are all close by, providing access to top class healthcare services.

“Douglasdale affords residents some of the best suburban living in Johannesburg,” observes Jason Shaw. “And the area remains affordable; generally sellers here have priced their homes realistically and not overpriced them as sometimes happens in areas that enjoy a buoyant property market. Douglasdale continues its impressive forward march,” he concludes.

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