Bedfordview homes to suit all pockets

14 Mar 2013

Although Bedfordview is regarded as one of the more affluent suburbs on the East Rand, it caters for buyers of all ages looking for either estate living, freestanding homes or sectional title units. 

This Tuscan style cluster home offers four bedrooms, his and her studies, a heated swimming pool and three garages. It is on the market for R8.75 million through RE/MAX.

This is according to Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who says residential property in the area is made up of 49.18 percent freestanding homes, 30.93 percent sectional title units and 19.89 percent estates. 

According to figures from Lightstone, a property information and statistics provider, a large majority of the existing homeowners have lived in the area for 11 years or more. More than 36 percent of the area’s homeowners are aged between 36 and 49 years old and about 35 percent are aged between 50 and 64 years old. 

The most active age demographic in the area are those aged between 36 and 49 years old who represent 42.75 percent of recent buyers and 38.65 percent of recent sellers. Younger consumers have also been active in the area representing 26.81 percent of recent buyers. 

Goslett says freestanding homes have consistently outsold sectional title units in Bedfordview. 

He notes that property sales volumes in the area from 2004 up until 2007 were remarkable. In 2008 the sales numbers dropped, but still remained relatively high when compared to many other regions across the country. 

During 2012, 163 freestanding homes were sold, along with 131 sectional title units. The average price of residential property in Bedfordview grew steadily until 2008; however, in 2009 property prices saw a decrease in the area across the board. 

While some recovery was seen during 2010, property prices have remained fairly stable over the past two years.  

Demand for property in Bedfordview can be seen across all price brackets, says Goslett, however, the majority of the properties sold during 2012 were priced between R1.5 million and R3 million, accounting for 36.1 percent of the market activity. 

Properties priced between R800 000 and R1.5 million and those priced above R3 million each represented 24.2 percent of the market activity. While 13.4 percent of properties sold were priced between R400 000 and R800 000, only 2.2 percent were priced below R400 000. 

Although the area is now an affluent suburb just 15 minutes from Johannesburg’s city centre, Bedfordview was once largely taken up by a farm known as Elandsfontein

As part of the District of Potchefstroom, Bedfordview bore the coat-of-arms featuring an Eland holding a fountain in honour of the town’s rural history. 

Due to the fact that the area was situated along the Witwatersrand Gold Reef, Elandsfontein was bought for mineral rights and was subdivided into smaller farms and small holdings. The area then became known as the Geldenhuis Estates Smallholdings, housing many of the miners that settled in the region. 

A randlord named Sir George Herbert Farrar owned one of these farms, which he called Bedford Farm after his hometown in England. Sir Farrar played a prominent role in planning the Jameson Raid, one of the main reasons for the Second Anglo-Boer War. 

The British cavalry used Bedfordview as their base during the war and are apparently responsible for planting the oak trees that line Van Buuren Avenue.

The area was only officially named Bedfordview in 1926 after a competition was held to name the region. The girl that won said that she liked the view from Bedford Farm, and as a result the name was registered as Bedford View.

By 1932, the area had developed from a few small holdings into a village. Due to the area’s expansion and some ongoing infrastructure issues, it was decided that some of the residents would form the Bedfordview Village Council and then the Bedfordview Town Council.

Today, Bedfordview forms part of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Council with other East Rand towns such as Alberton, Benoni, Boksburg, Brakpan, Edenvale, Germiston, Kempton Park, Nigel and Springs. Aside from Edenvale, it is one of the closest suburbs to OR Tambo International Airport and is close to a number of shopping malls and entertainment areas. It also has Gillooly’s Farm, which is a popular picnic spot for many Johannesburg locals. 

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