Linden properties at a premium

If anything proves that the estate agents’ mantra “location, location, location” is true, it’s the current demand for homes in the heritage suburb of Linden in Johannesburg – where selling prices are quite often actually above asking prices thanks to keen buyers trying to outbid each other.

This lovely house on a sub-divided stand of 850sqm in Linden was recently sold by RealNet Linden for R2,5m
And the reason they are so determined, says Michelle Joseph, owner of the local RealNet franchise, is the prospect of acquiring a freehold home in a suburb where residents work hard to preserve the strong community ethos.
“In fact buyers often don’t care if the home is in disrepair since their plan is to upgrade it to their own specifications anyway. In recent instances, a property that was marketed at R1,6m was sold for R1,8m after several offers had been submitted, and a property that was listed for R1,45m by our top agent Jeremy Craig received several offers within hours and was quickly sold for R1,65m."
Linden's large stands are a legacy of a time when high density suburbs were a rarity. The suburb was established on a fruit farm on what was then the outskirts of the city and stands were at least an acre and often bigger. As a nod to the history of the area, many of the large gardens still feature fruit orchards, Michelle says.
The charm of olde worlde features such as Oregon pine or parquet floors and original pressed steel ceilings is another attraction for those buyers who are targeting homes for upgrading.Michelle, who was herself born and bred in Linden, says the suburb also has a very distinct culture and established infrastructure including local shops, restaurants and schools and is thus very attractive to young professionals who want to raise a family.
"It is also a prime destination because it is central to the business hubs of Sandton, Randburg and the Johannesburg CBD, while offering a genteel lifestyle," she says. “And the large stands allow for a second dwelling such as a cottage to be built and rented out to supplement the owner’s income or to accommodate extended families.”
Meanwhile developers are now also targeting the large stands to sub-divide and build cluster homes, for which there is great demand among residents whose children have left home. Michelle says many older residents who bought their homes decades ago now want to downscale to smaller properties that require less maintenance.
"But they would prefer to stay in Linden and more cluster developments are urgently needed since demand now far outstrips supply."
Prices in Linden start at around the R1,6m mark for homes with three bedrooms, one bathroom and two reception rooms, but those in this price range typically require upgrading or revamping.
Upgraded homes and modern homes built on sub-divided stands of around 1000sqm are selling at prices up to R3,7m, she says, while modern townhouses of about 150sqm on stands of around 350sqm start at around R1,7m and typically offer three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two garages and a private garden.
Prices of sectional title apartments in Linden start at around R550 000 for one-bedroom units.

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