According to Pam Golding Properties (PGP) an interesting trend in the Northern Johannesburg suburbs is that the agency is experiencing an increase in the number of home purchases by international buyers from China, India and African countries including Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia.
The trend, noted by PGP Hyde Park branch managers Jonathan Davies and Rupert Finnemore, is mainly attributable to the general growth in mining and mineral beneficiation occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.
Among the suburbs where mining-linked home purchases have taken place are Parkmore and Bryanston. Homes and townhouses in secure complexes have been sold in the range R3-million to R30-million and purchasing has been influenced by factors such as security and ease of access to and from work, shopping, entertainment and other places of interest.
Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the PGP group, comments that the escalating trend in these property transactions is a key indicator that Johannesburg is rapidly becoming the gateway for entrepreneurial development on the African continent.
“While the property market overall continues to experience challenging times, some markets will always find ways to thrive and Johannesburg, with its increasingly cosmopolitan status, falls into that category,” says Dr Golding.
Davies and Finnemore say the property environment in Northern Johannesburg continues to present sound opportunities for home buyers and property investors, with a resurgence of demand at the top end of the market, while the middle and lower end markets continue to sell.
For sellers, the reality is that purchasers are tending to commit only when they perceive true value in a market where it is no longer possible to obtain in excess of a hundred percent bond - which would historically have covered the acquisition costs of the property.
“Buyers today are most likely have to put down a 10-20% deposit and apply for an 80% bond, a factor which has a constraining effect on house purchases in many sectors of the market,” says Davies.
Finnemore says the overall market, however, remains resilient with the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg continuing to demonstrate sustained activity in the residential property market.
“Parkview, Parkwood and Parktown North have held their own and remain in high demand as desirable suburbs in which to reside. Ongoing demand for secure estates in the Fourways Gardens and Kyalami areas is also impacting favourably on the sustainability of house prices in these areas where homes are fetching between R2.5-million and R8-million.”
He adds that at the high end of the market, Sandhurst, Hyde Park, Morningside and Dunkeld, as well as the sought after Melrose Arch development, have demonstrated more resilience than other sectors of the market. Prices are ranging from R6-million through to R40-million and very occasionally beyond that where the market remains slow.
“On a further positive note, home buyers are re-examining opportunities in new developments, some of which offer lower barriers to entry, particularly in instances where developers have held title to land for some time, waiting for trading conditions and the demand for such homes to improve,” says Davies, noting that in the lower-priced development market up to R1.2-million, the sectional title sector continues to offer good value.
“In addition, further opportunities for property developers, buyers and sellers are being created as the Gautrain infrastructure moves towards completion. Commuting times and costs are drawing buyers to areas close to Gautrain stations,” adds Davies.