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Northern Johannesburg Suburbs

Affordable Northern Johannesburg Suburbs A Magnet For Families, First-time Buyers And Investors

The suburbs of North Riding and Johannesburg North are sought-after by families, first-time buyers and investors as they offer value for money as well as being family-orientated and located in conveniently secure environments.

North Riding and Johannesburg North attract value seeking buyers because these are growing suburbs where property prices have shown consistent growth over a 10-year period, says Pam Golding Properties (see chart below). In addition, they offer a wide range of properties from sectional title apartments to clusters and freestanding homes and suit all budgets. There are also a number of excellent schools, shopping centres, healthcare facilities and hospitality venues in these areas.

“Both suburbs are centrally located close to major arterials such as Malibongwe Drive, Witkoppen Road, Northumberland Avenue and the N1 highway, with easy access to the Lanseria International Airport, Fourways, Sandton and West Rand,” report Pam Golding Properties area specialists, Dorette Turner and Sanchia Fouche.

One-bedroom, sectional title starter apartments can be had for as little as R550 000, while full title homes start from R1.2 million, with some of these homes located in secure estates. Currently, they say there is increased sales activity in freehold homes priced between R1.5 million and R2 million and competitively-priced homes within this price bracket are selling well. Turner and Fouche report that sales are currently increasing due to pent-up demand and the historically low interest rates. However, stock levels remain constant as banks are proving diligent when approving bonds.

Lightstone data shows that North Riding has 3 733 homes, of which 45.7% are located within secure estates, with nearly half (48.2%) of all the properties in the suburb being freehold homes. Freehold prices have continued to strengthen gradually in recent years. In Johannesburg North, just under 10% of properties are located within estates, while 92.5% are freestanding homes. This suburb’s stable owners are distributed across most age groups – with young adults (18 – 35 years) accounting for just over a third (34%) of recent buyers.

Agents say at the top-end of the market is the exclusive Olivewood Lifestyle Residential Estate, a gem of a security estate consisting of 233 full title properties. Here, prices range between R3 million and R7 million. According to Lightstone, between 2010 and 2019, the median price of full title properties rose by +22.8%. This family-oriented estate is eco-friendly, with an abundance of birdlife and plenty of open and recreational spaces offering buyers a unique opportunity to buy into a cosmopolitan lifestyle.

“These suburbs provide an excellent location for those working in the north of Johannesburg, while proximity to the Fourways Precinct will continue to heighten property values in the area,” say the agents.

Strong sectional title market in North Riding

While freehold prices have continued to strengthen gradually to just over R1.7 million in recent years, sectional title prices stabilised at R1.1 million in 2019 and 2020. The median price of freehold properties has strengthened marginally this year (2020) to date, at R1.72 million, while sectional title prices have remained unchanged at R1.1 million during the same period.

However, over a 10-year period, sectional title properties have shown consistent growth of 35.8%, and sales have exceeded those of freestanding homes since 2013, showing stronger demand for more affordable apartments, according to data from Lightstone. Over the past decade, freehold prices have risen by 49.7%.

The relative affordability of sectional title homes in the area is attracting young adults to the suburb, many of whom are likely to be first-time buyers. During the past 12 months (August 2019 to July 2020), just over half (51%) of home buyers in North Riding were young adults – 35 years or younger.

Sharlene Chimbwanda, Pam Golding Properties sectional title specialist, says the market in North Riding remains strong with increasing demand as apartments are accessibly priced from R550 000 and up to R2 million.

“Starter one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments are priced from R550 000, while two-bedroom units range between R700 000 and R800 000, depending on the complex. There are also well-maintained townhouse apartments with private gardens within this price range. Three-bedroom apartments range from R850 000 to R1.6 million, and from R1.6 million, one can buy spacious three or four bedrooms with garages and staff accommodation, and in some instances, private swimming pools.”

Chimbwanda says compared to Fourways, North Riding offers value for money per square metre. For example, a two-bedroom, two-bathroom ground floor unit measuring 112sqm in size can sell for between R900 000 and R1 million, while a similar property in Fourways can range between R1.1 million and R1.2 million.

“We are seeing increased activity from first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors purchasing apartments priced from R550 000. Buy-to-let investors are purchasing mostly two-bedroom and two-bathroom (sometimes one-bathroom) apartments priced between R650 000 and R800 000.”

She explains that sales activity has increased due to bank initiatives supportive of buyers such as offering to cover transfer costs for first-time buyers, which has resulted in a spike in enquiries from first-time buyers. Another reason is that most buyers work in the Sandton, Randburg and Johannesburg CBDs, and they find that homes in North Riding are accessibly priced and located,” adds Chimbwanda.