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Benoni: Lakeside lifestyles

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With four expanses of water surrounded by urban development, Benoni is known as The City Of Lakes. Situated east of Joburg, it offers potential buyers value for money, convenience and more

Even as planning authorities grapple to keep up with higher-than-anticipated population growth, South Africa’s biggest city is still far from becoming an average “extreme commuting” zone, where longer travel distances and times on the transport system are the norm.

At 40 minutes-plus to Joburg and 52 minutes to Sandton, Benoni is a good residential opttion for those wanting to explore alternatives beyond Joburg’s immediate suburban environs. Located east of Joburg, Benoni falls under the Ekurhuleni municipality.

In sometimes prohibitively expensive Sandton, a two-bedroom apartment close to Africa’s richest square mile would cost you well over R2 million, but in Benoni, you could look at a decent four-bedroom home for the same price.

“We believe Benoni has become a high-demand area for a number of reasons, the first of which is value. Buyers from the more populated areas of Bedfordview, and the northern suburbs of Joburg, are pleasantly surprised their budget fetches far more value in Benoni,” says co-director for Benoni-based Kingstons Real Estate, 
Michael Drennan, whose co-director colleague is David Helena. 

Drennan says for R2m in Benoni you’ll pick up a beautiful free-standing home on a stand of between 1 000m² and 2 000m², depending on the suburb.

The “City of Lakes” is also a renowned centre of education.

Drennan says: “Schooling has a high reputation, with the option of private and well-run government schools. Benoni has some of the best schools in Ekurhuleni.”

Easy access to the N12 and R21/24, which connect to Pretoria, Joburg and Sandton, and now the Gautrain, makes life easier for those who commute, says Drennan.  

The market stock is extremely diversified, with suburbs carrying distinctive attractive features to suit different buyer demands. 

Those who choose Lakefield particularly enjoy Korsmans Bird Sanctuary. Rynfield and Morehill offer larger-than-normal stands in boomed and non-boomed areas, and boast a great mix of style and well-priced homes, says Drennan.

“Farrarmere is central and has remained a high-demand suburb. It offers a good variety of public schools, plus easy highway access. Homestead Dam is nearby for walks and fishing,” says Drennan, adding that homes range from R1.6m to R3m.

Northmead offers value for money and is attractive to a wide range of buyers. It is centrally located in Benoni and offers good accessibility to government and private schools. 
Benoni offers easy access to the major nearby cities of Joburg, Sandton and Pretoria.
Property prices are generally more affordable in this city under Ekurhuleni, known for its scenic beauty, warm spirit and convenience. – Kingstons Real Estate Directors Michael Drennan, left, and David Helena.
In terms of market activity, Farrarmere and Rynfield remain the most buoyant, closely followed by Northmead. Drennan says Farrarmere, Rynfield and Morehill have properties priced from R1.2m to in excess of R15m. The upmarket areas include Alphen Park and Lakefield. In Ebotse Golf Estate, properties sell in excess of R10m. 

Most market activity is, however, concentrated at the low-to-medium range, from R295 000 in Benoni Central to R1.5m elsewhere. However, Drennan reports a noticeable improvement in the mid-to-high-level market.

Benoni was founded in 1881 but boomed in the aftermath of the discovery of gold in 1887.

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