Sunday, July 15

The value in lower prices

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Aspirant homeowners, who move their search out of the most popular and most expensive areas in and around Joburg, will find there are many suburbs that will offer them the same facilities and sometimes more, for less money.

Joburg house hunters looking to buy in and around the city should broaden their searches to suburbs which may offer the same – or more – benefits as the hot spots, but at lower prices.

Properties in the more popular well-located suburbs like Sandton, Rosebank, Melville and Northcliff, where amenities are plenty and future returns rewarding, are no doubt great buys, but if buyers turn their eyes to properties on offer in other suburbs, they may find more than they bargained for.

Buyers are often specific when looking for homes. They are clear about the properties and the areas in which they are located, says Rupert Finnemore, Pam Golding Properties Gauteng executive.

Their choices are based on individual preferences, but generally these incorporate proximity to work and amenities and good security. Locations such as Northriding and the greater Fourways area also continue to be sought after as they offer good value for money.

However, while buyers are often set on living in particular suburbs, they may not have the budget for homes in the area of their choice, says Rawson Properties’ Nancy Todd. If they look at neighbouring suburbs, they may find “the perfect property” a stone’s throw away.

This is the case for Parkmore and Hurlingham Manor, where Charles Vining, Seeff’s managing director in Sandton, says greater value is on offer than in high-demand Parkhurst and its surrounding areas, known as “the Parks”.

“These suburbs are known as the most expensive by square metre in the greater Sandton area. Its entertainment strip and central location is popular with young professionals and young families, but families outgrow these properties and soon find themselves house hunting again as stands here are generally only 495m².”

Properties here range from R2.5million to R8m.

Properties in some Randburg suburbs, like this Boskruin home which is on the market, offer great value. Picture: Realnet Properties

By comparison, stands in Parkmore – which is minutes away from the Sandton CBD and, like Hurlingham Manor, is a boomed area with access control and 24/7 armed patrols – are just under 1000m². Residents here live close to good private and public schools, entertainment and shopping facilities.

“Parkmore is creating a great family lifestyle and attracting good business to the area.”

Reasons buyers may not look here is that the area has a history with crime, but Vining says efforts by the Parkmore community and security associations, which include the erection of boomed closures, has seen crime levels drop by 50%.

“Another reason could be that there are many older homes in the area and young executive families aren’t always willing to renovate.”

Vining says Hurlingham Manor is a “special area” with a focus on a safe outdoor lifestyle. It has a number of play parks and its location offers easy access to the Sandton CBD, Fourways area and Randburg.

He predicts prices in Parkmore and Hurlingham Manor will rise over the next few years as traffic in the Sandton CBD increases and the demand to be closer to work grows.

Another area that flies “under the radar” in Joburg is Westdene, says Julie Fredericks, principal at RealNet Randburg. Adjacent to Melville, this suburb shares many of its advantages in terms of access but, historically, has not enjoyed the same status or trendiness. Properties are also better priced.

“Westdene would be most suited to young professionals and buyers with families, aged 35 to 55, because it offers lock-up-and-go, low-maintenance properties and family homes of all sizes, and proximity to great schools, universities, workplaces and public transport.”

Randburg and surrounding areas are increasingly popular, she says, as they generally offer excellent capital growth, convenience and facilities. Also, there are currently about 50% more properties for sale than there were one year ago, and 40% fewer buyers, so the value is “superb”, especially for luxury buyers.

Hyde Park is one of Joburg’s upmarket suburbs. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA

Randburg has many aspirant homeowners taking advantage of its “relatively more affordable suburbs”, says Chris Hajec, Seeff’s managing director in the area. One suburb seeing an influx of aspirant homeowners is Blairgowrie.

Over the course of a decade, Blairgowrie, formerly negatively affected by its position relative to the Randburg CBD, has seen a disproportionate rise in the rate of appreciation in its property values, he says.

“Because of a historically poor reputation for crime and its position, Blairgowrie, although nestled among and adjacent to its trendier neighbours, never gained their caché.”

Stand sizes in Hurlingham Manor are bigger than some other suburbs. This property currently on the market has a stand measuring 1 177m2. Picture: Seeff

Hajec says: “If you look at the demographic cross-section of sellers and existing owners in Blairgowrie, as well as the relative condition of housing stock, it tells a story in keeping with gentrification and the influx of aspirant homeowners craving proximity to Sandton at affordable prices.”

Bryanston is another sought-after suburb for buyers, but not everyone cannot afford the price tags on its properties, says Finnemore. For these buyers, nearby Magaliessig offers “great value for money at accessible prices”.

“Largely overlooked for many years, this suburb came into its own after the Design Quarter shopping centre was built. It now attracts young families and professionals. Many who move into Magaliessig start by renting, then put down roots by acquiring a starter apartment and eventually a larger home in this secure and centrally located suburb.”

Bryanston West, with more affordable homes, is another area which may be overlooked, Finnemore says.

Median property prices in some
Joburg hot-spots – LSM 10 high 

Craighall
R4.6 million 

Craighall Park
R4.2m 

Hyde Park
R12.8m 

Parkhurst
R3.3m 

Parktown North
R4.6 m 

Source: Seeff

A tree-lined street in Craighall. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/ANA

What you pay in “good buy” areas 

Parkmore and Hurlingham Manor 

● Prices in these two areas range from R2.5m to R5.5m. 

Westdene 

● House prices in this suburb start at just under R1m for
three-bedroom, one-bathroom homes that are mostly in need of
renovation. 

● Renovated three and four-bedroom homes with views, pools,
and garages can cost up to R2.5m 

● Three-bedroom townhouses start at about R950 000. 

Blairgowrie 

● The average price for a freehold property in the area is currently
R1.85m. 

● Properties here that sell for R2.5m to R3m have usually been
renovated and modernised to high standards.

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