Property in suburbs around Johannesburg’s two universities retains its gloss.
That’s the word from Heidi Bester, area specialist at Chas Everitt International’s Campus Square office in Melville.
“This market will always draw buyers because of its central location - and with increasing traffic volumes and rising fuel costs, growing numbers of buyers are starting to look at suburbs near the city centre,” she says.
Overpricing in some areas, such as Melville, is depressing the market slightly – “with many sellers stuck in 2006 and asking up to 20% more than the market will bear” – but there is still good demand.
Two- and three-bedroom semi-detached units in Melville are available from around R1m, while most sell in the R1, 4m to R1, 8m range. Prices for restored semi’s can be as high as R5m.
Prices in nearby Auckland Park, says Bester, range between R1, 1m and R3m with stand sizes varying between 600sqm and 2000sqm. “R3m will buy a solid family home on a large stand representing excellent value for money.”
The best investment opportunities are, however, to be found in Triomf/ Sophiatown next to Westdene. “Three-bedroom family homes in reasonable condition can still be bought for prices as low as R600 000. Homes in this area are solid and were built in the 70s and 80s. They represent excellent potential for growth in value.”
Investors buying student accommodation are also underpinning the market. Monthly rentals vary between R1300 and R2800 per room, depending on location.
Bester says Brixton properties are increasingly being turned into student communes. “Many of these older properties offer great scope for upgrading and the suburb is definitely a candidate for gentrification. Small three-bedroom homes on stands of 500sqm here sell from about R500 000.”