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JOBURG: BUY HERE: Our insider’s guide to Houghton Estate

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Houghton Estate, once home to Nelson Mandela, has many historic houses set in tree-lined roads. The properties are big and can be eye-wateringly expensive, but sub-division is creeping in with some large gardens now accommodating sectional title prop

Rising maintenance costs and security concerns are among the factors making sub-dividing one’s property a common trend in leafy Houghton Estate, where a magnificent penthouse was put up for sale at a jaw-dropping R100million.

“The relatively large stands lend themselves to sub-division, and this occurs frequently, as homeowners often show a preference for smaller, more manageable properties,” says Sally Darsot of Vered Estates, who handles property transactions in the suburb that was home to Nelson Mandela.

The sub-divisions also help to offset “rising costs of rates and taxes, electricity and utilities”, she says. Some sub-divisions are now home to security estates and new sectional title developments.

There are numerous heritage homes, built in the 1920s and 1930s. Upper Houghton has
more heritage homes as it was developed first. – Sally Darsot, Area Specialist for Houston Estate Vered Estates Picture: Supplied

“Clusters are increasingly popular for security reasons.” One such cluster development is The Residence in 4th Avenue. Darsot says The Houghton, “a terrific upmarket sectional title development” that looks onto the Houghton Golf Club, contributed to an increase in sales volumes in Houghton last year. 

Other developments include blocks of high-level “lock-up and go” apartments, popular with firsttime buyers and investors. The Signature, sited within 1km of the Rosebank Gautrain station, is one of these developments.

If smaller seems to be the way to go, one needs remember that Houghton has a wealth of historical buildings dating back a century, and possible demolition should concern heritage buffs.

“Upper Houghton has more heritage homes as it was developed first,” notes Darsot, who distinguishes this part of the neighbourhood located on a ridge and since declared a national heritage area, from Lower Houghton, which straddles both sides of the M1.

Houghton properties have largely held their own in a challenging environment, says Darsot: “Freehold property values have been reasonably stable, although they dipped slightly towards the end of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.”

Given that the entry price for a freehold in Upper Houghton is around R3m, this is encouraging. Also noteworthy are the commercial properties to have come up on Central and Glenhove roads, which Darsot welcomes for revitalising the suburb.

“Some wonderful cutting-edge architecture can be seen sprouting along these roads that link Houghton with Rosebank. This is indicative of major capital investments in the area.”

The Wilds municipal park on Houghton Drive. Picture: Supplied

This is of significance as Houghton is well-positioned and attracts affluent residents and high-income earners, says Darsot. Conveniences include the Gautrain station on Oxford Road, shopping malls, good schools such as King Edward, St John’s College, Roedean and Kingsmead College, and places of worship, including churches, mosques and synagogues. Oaklands is marginally more affordable.

Tasneem Saloojee’s favourite places and things to do

We liked that Houghton Estate is a
leafy suburb ideal for bringing up
children and for a good family life. It
is also central to the M1 South and
M1 North, and not far from Joburg
CBD, where I work, also Sandton. It’s
easy to get anywhere you want to get
to from here. There are also two big
mosques, making it convenient,
especially for our Friday prayers. –
 Tasneem Saloojee, resident


1 Grant Avenue

It’s quaint and has virtually everything, from food outlets and grocery shopping to specialist shops. You can get anything from a manicure to a massage. Norwood

Grant Avenue has interesting shops. Picture: Supplied

2 Fight Sports Centre – MMA

Gym For martial arts and boxing lessons. 61 Grant Avenue, Norwood. 011 568 0976

3 The Schwarma Co

They serve great falafels. It gets busy. This eatery has been around for many years. 71 Grant Avenue, Norwood. 011 483 1776

4 Rainbow Sushi and Chinese Food

They have a variety of items, from sweet treats to Taiwanese food and other varieties of Asian food. 53 Grant Avenue and Algernon Road, Norwood. 011 728 9298

5 Virgin Active Health Club

It’s convenient and has cricket and basketball facilities. 11 9th Avenue, Houghton. 011 483 1298

6 KCC – La Vie en Rose

A lovely garden restaurant for breakfasts and lunch. 60 5th Street, Houghton Estate. 0112686144

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