Highlands North, where good value is found

Highlands North prides itself on being a quiet suburb with a minimum of through traffic.  With quick access to the main highways and within easy reach of Sandton, Melrose Arch, the CBD and Norwood Mall it has become a much sought-after place to live.  

2 Bedroom House for sale in Atholl, Sandton

It probably wouldn’t be classified as a ‘fast-moving’ suburb in terms of property sales because home owners who buy like to put down their roots and stay put for a long time. Some residents are still in the same home after 20 years.

The first recorded property in Highlands North goes back to 1939 when Highlands North Boys’ High School was established, although St Marys’ School for Girls, situated on the Waverley border, is dated 1888 and is one of the oldest schools in Johannesburg.  Some time later in 1953, Waverley Girls’ High opened.  These three schools have a long history of drawing their pupils from the surrounding areas.

Jawitz Properties agent Ruth O’Connor says that some of the older residents have interesting stories to tell about the suburb, but documented history of the area is sketchy. Over the decades, Highlands North has expanded according to demand and extended further and further north. There are a still a few of the older art-deco homes left - one even going back as far as 1929, but mostly the older houses were built around 1939, so fall into pre- and post-war period.

“These old masterpieces with three spacious bedrooms and one to two bathrooms, have high ceilings and beautiful wood floors.  There’s a choice between 495m², or quarter-acre stands, making them ideal for children and easy to maintain gardens for couples.  Very few properties are demolished as people prefer to buy and renovate to suit their requirements,” she says.

In the current market, properties turn over relatively quickly, provided of course, that they are pitched at market related prices.  However, there is a shortage of stock in rentals and sales, hence fewer sales. Most sales are in the middle price range of around R1-million, although, just recently, a large business property went for R18-million while the highest recorded price for a home was R2.55-million.

Rentals vary in price from R5 500 for a sectional title unit up R16 000 for a stand-alone home with three bedrooms and a pool.  Many of the tenants have been living in rented accommodation for ten years and more. New developments are few and far between, due mainly to the lack of open ground.

“By and large, Highlands North is a close community and offers good value for homeowners and investors,” she says.

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