Black diamonds to the fore in Houghton
The Houghton property market has remained relatively buoyant despite the recent downturn, with demand for properties in the prestigious suburb stemming primarily from "black diamonds"
Jeanine Fincher, senior sales agent for the local Chas Everitt International franchise, says the majority of new buyers in the area are black and Indian buyers seeking a prestige address in keeping with their new prosperity and status.
She also notes that while the majority of black buyers are purchasing traditional, grand homes in Houghton proper, Indian buyers seemingly prefer the newly-built, modern clusters in the area. Asking prices vary greatly and can range from R3m for a sectional title unit to R25m for a freehold property.
"Houghton has always been regarded as a wealthy suburb characterised by gracious, estate style homes. But buyers can actually now choose from a fairly wide variety of properties ranging in price and style, due to the extensive subdivision and development which has occurred in the area."
Fincher also notes that a large number of properties in Houghton are being refurbished as many owners are looking to have the best of both the old and new worlds. Additionally, improvements serve to enhance values.
But there is more to Houghton than just high-calibre properties. The area has a very active residents' association, and it is home to a number of Johannesburg's top schools including Roedean School, St John's College, Sacred Heart College and King Edward VII High School, and close to both the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Johannesburg.
Residents can also take their pick of upmarket retail venues nearby such as Killarney Mall, Hyde Park Corner, Melrose Arch and Sandton City, and proximity to the freeway network means relatively easy access to OR Thambo airport.
In short, Fincher says, Houghton is set to retain its highly-desirable status for many years to come and now is a good time to invest in the area before the market turns and prices start to move upwards again.
ISSUED BY CHAS EVERITT