Affordable new apartments near Midrand Gautrain sell out fast

The first phase of the affordable new apartment development, Birchfield, located in Grand Central near the Midrand Gautrain station that launched about six months ago is just about sold out, says Seeff Sandton/Midrand Projects Director, Glen Fisher. The response was overwhelming and testimony to the demand for affordable homes close to transport infrastructure.

Fisher says that the take-up has bucked the national trend where many new developments are struggling to find buyers. Thorough research and careful planning of the type of homes, price ranges and especially the location preceded the launch, something that he says has been vital to the success. The developers, VHB Developers and Construction have a strong track record of developing fine residential complexes in Johannesburg.

The building work on phase one has commenced. The launch of phase two in January 2014 will see another 45 units available for sale. Phases 3 and 4 will be launched later in the year and completion of the entire project is scheduled for 2015.

The 204-apartment complex is located within Midrand's new urban growth node and aside from the Gautrain station, is within walking distance of major infrastructure such as shops, medical facilities, banks, schools, taxi ranks and bus depots and there are several business parks and commercial centres in the immediate vicinity. Midrand's central position is another major draw-card and means that even buyers that work outside the area have quick access to major transport routes via the New Road and Allandale onramps to the N1, says Fisher. The Grand Central Airport is also nearby.

The apartments range in size from 41,8sqm for a one bedroomed unit to 64,6sqm for a two bedroomed unit. Prices are inclusive of all costs and range between R490,000 and R670,000. The interiors are modern with fitted kitchens and built-in cupboards in the bedrooms. The one bedroomed unit has an open-plan living area and shower-bathroom. The two bedroomed units have an additional dining area and a full bathroom.

One of the key aspects is the top class security that includes perimeter electrification, single controlled access, CCTV cameras and 24-hour linked armed response. It is of course also low maintenance, lock-up-and-go, something for which demand is rising, says Fisher. There is secure under-cover parking for residents and visitors. Open lawn-areas provide space for children to play.

While many have been first time home buyers, Fisher says that the development has attracted significant interest from buy-to-let investors given the high demand for rental accommodation and anticipated rental rates of between R4,700 and R6,000 in the area. While prices are still very affordable right now, we anticipate good capital growth in the short-term given the demand for affordable and conveniently located homes where residents are able to get by without a car. The development also appeals to corporates in the area who need to accommodate staff and visitors.

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