Agricultural smallholdings on Benoni’s periphery are attracting strong interest from developers who have identified their potential for residential development.
Patsy Pretorius, principal of the Chas Everitt International franchise covering the Far East Rand, says the trend is gaining momentum. A lack of land within the city is driving developers to look elsewhere and these plots, many of which have been neglected in recent years, offer a viable solution.
The demand is a reflection of Benoni’s ongoing appeal, she says. Known as the “city of lakes”, the town has much to offer in terms of lifestyle as it is well situated, enjoys easy access to Johannesburg and has good schools. Most properties are also of a high calibre.
Development in the area has been brisk in recent years with the result that very little land is now left within the town, hence the interest in the outlying plots. “Many developers are looking to buy property cheaply now with a view to developing them at a later stage. Typically, offers of around R3m are being made on plots measuring between 8 000sqm and 12 000sqm.”
Meanwhile the Benoni property market in general is stabilising, says Pretorius. Good activity is occurring in the R800 000 to R1,2m bracket, with large three bedroom, freehold homes proving the most popular.
There has been something of a reversal in the trend towards buying townhouses and clusters, with many buyers now opting to buy freehold properties instead to achieve enhanced privacy and more generous gardens. Sectional title and cluster properties are priced at anything from R700 000 to R2,5m depending on the area but sales in this segment are sluggish, she says.
As for rentals, enquiries are pouring in thick and fast but while many are looking for relatively cheap lets at a monthly average of R5 000, landlords are generally asking more at an average of R8 000 in an attempt to offset their bond costs. The upshot is that many are battling to find a middle ground and potential lease agreements are falling through.