of the available spaces which are more affordable and allow for development
De Wetshof still mainly consists of freeholds, but the prospects of booming sectional title estates and the apartment market look good as the many and large, open green spaces in the neighbourhood are amenable to development.
This would make housing more affordable to more younger people. Presently, the majority of residents are mature folk aged between 50 and 64, the kind who can afford the prices of a little less than R2million in an area with average monthly household salaries of between R65000 to R80000, says Lynn McKay of O-Yes Properties.
“There are enough open spaces for developments of sectional titles which could assist the younger generation to purchase and be closer to the city, universities, highways and work destinations, thereby encouraging cheaper multiple dwellings,” says McKay, who notes high purchase prices have prevented youth from properly tapping into this market.
“The high-end property market is about R1.95m. Land can be acquired between R650000 and R900000. House values have not really dropped in the past two years,” says McKay, arguing that in a better economic climate prices can possibly go up to R3m because of the huge stand sizes and properties.
“The properties in Dewetshof are fairly large and most situated on 1000m². The quality of the houses is solid. Home interiors generally range from well-looked-after to continued improvement and renovations.”
“It’s an established, well-maintained older suburb with lovely homes and streets, centrally located to all amenities.”
She says the majority of mature owners has lived in De Wetshof for a long time, and middle-aged buyers have also purchased here as the size of the properties are good for families, and there’s centrality to schools.
“However a small percentage of youth is purchasing in De Wetshof,” say McKay.
For those who cannot afford the prices but would like to purchase a home in this lovely area, McKay recommends share-buying or rent-to-buy.
“Due to the locality of De Wetshof and its small size, it is quite an over-looked suburb and yet has so much to offer regarding the properties,” she says.
Relative to its size and the state of the current economy, the four homes sold in the neighbourhood so far this year could be considered to be in keeping with the current purchasing property trends. In 2017 11 sales were registered and in 2018, eight were sold.
“Another of the early settlers on the Witwatersrand, the Bezuidenhouts, built their farmhouse in 1863 on the farm Doornfontein, which was one of 20 farms which made up the future City of Johannesburg,” says McKay, adding that the 130-year-old house still stands in the local Bezuidenhout/Homestead Park.
She cites large green spaces to walk dogs and the hill location for the wonderful views among the many attractions.
De Wetshof prices compare very well with those for Cyrildene.
Kathy Munro’s favourite places and things to do
1 Da Gama Park
It’s a fabulous view site of all of Joburg from the east. It gives panoramic views of the Joburg skyline and the ridges of the Witwatersrand. The Observatory Estate Residents Forum organises a full moon gathering at the park, a moonlit community camaraderie around a camp fire in the veld. De Wetshof.
2 Observatory Golf Club
Reportedly the oldest municipal golf club in Joburg and founded in 1913. It has 18 holes and a driving range. Great pub-style meals overlooking the greens. 5 Steyn Road, Observatory. 011 648 9579
3 Johannesburg Observatory
This is situated on Observatory Ridge, the city’s highest point. 18a Gill Street, Observatory. 011 487 3003
There’s quality award-winning architecture you can view by husband and wife architect team the Morgernsterns (followers of Frank Lloyd Wright). The couple’s self-built house dating from 1955 in nearby Linksfield Ridge was listed for almost R10 m earlier this year.
5 New Chinatown
Great atmosphere, Chinese shops and restaurants. 28 Derrick Avenue, Cyrildene.
6 Bezuidenhout Park
Hosts events including a park-run. Observatory Avenue, Observatory