Midrand is now one of the highest growth areas for young buyers

Midrand is a vast area linking Johannesburg and Pretoria with over R5,6 billion in real estate transactions over the last twelve months to October. It is now one of the fastest growth areas for young buyers with some 47% of sales over the last year to millennial buyers. This is among the highest in the country over the last year according to Charles Vining, managing director of Seeff Sandton and Midrand.

Midrand property offers very accessible prices, although luxury areas and demand for luxury homes are growing. Given that it is built around the N1 and is an excellent base for its accessibility for those who work in the area or around the greater Johannesburg and Pretoria metro areas. The market is dynamic with the area home to a mix of residential along with many commercial, business, and retail nodes and agricultural areas.

A new landmark includes the spectacular Mall of Africa, the largest in Africa which adds to attractions such as the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, Country Club, and equestrian facilities.

Prices are very accessible; hence it attracts a large number of first-time buyers and sellers. There is a broad choice for buyers and investors, ranging from affordable apartments to sectional title complexes, freehold homes, and gated communities. Luxury developments include Waterfall Estate.

Aside from own-use, the area is also popular for rental investments given the high demand for rental accommodation, says Vining. Young buyers and sellers make up a sizeable portion of the market along with families given the excellent childcare facilities and schools, but the area is also ideal for older buyers looking for a country setting.

Although stock is dominated by freehold properties at 53% compared to 27% sectional title and just under 20% estates, sectional title property is the fastest seller. Lightstone data shows that almost two-thirds of all sales over the last year are sectional titles.

Of the R5.6bn in transactions recorded for the 12-months to the end of September, 72% fall below R1,5 million, a further 42% between R1,5 million and R3 million, and about 8% above R3 million.

Aside from sectional titles, secure properties and gated communities are in demand. Lightstone shows that estate homes are achieving the highest prices. For example, recorded sales include R10,5 million in Saddlebrook Estate and R34,25m in Kyalami Estate.

Within Midrand, there are different areas and price points and Seeff’s agents recommend that sellers, buyers, and investors work with a credible agent for the right guidance, especially if you are buying or selling for the first time. There are many aspects to the buying and selling process including understanding the costs, deposit requirements, and the processes involved.

Buy-to-let investors are for example not always aware of the additional costs related to a rental property such as levies for sectional title complexes which can differ greatly. Lower levies are always more attractive for buyers.

Sectional title sellers should be aware that buyers are now well informed and often ask for the financials of the complex as they do not want to buy if there is financial mismanagement or where there is a likelihood of special levies being raised soon.

Purchasers in new developments should note that the sectional title register is not always done at the time of purchase and may take up to 16-24 months which will result in a back-dated City of Johannesburg (COJ) bill. They should therefore make provision for the rates in situations such as these.

Buyers also look for good infrastructure when it comes to roads in the agricultural areas which, in Midrand, are characterised by homes or cottage homes on large plots of land. Buyers of larger properties and smallholdings usually want information regarding town planning and permission details such as coverage, dwelling permissions, and so on. Buyers looking at apartments or homes in properties adjacent to open tracts of land want to know what the plans are for the land.

Landlords should also note that while Midrand has a buoyant rental market and monthly rentals can range from R25,000 to R40,000 per month, top-end tenants tend to shop around for the best value for money.

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