05 Sep 2013
This is according to Jason Shaw, area manager of the Pam Golding Properties (PGP)Fourways/Dainfern office, who saysDouglasdale may be described as the residential property ‘hotspot’ of the area because homes do not usually remain on the market for long as they can be snapped up within a matter of weeks.
He says this is not surprising as properties in the suburb are generally well-priced and homes are so highly sought after in some areas that they can sometimes be difficult to find.
According to Shaw, another indicator of how well the area is performing can be gleaned from a record price that was recently achieved by PGP for a full title cluster home in Douglasdale. The home fetched a record R3.925 million compared to the previous high of R3.65 million.
Douglasdale is central but leafy and appealing, offering an outdoor lifestyle that is hard to beat, notes PGP property agent and area specialist Kyle Ebben. He says there is also a range of different property options available, which attract a variety of buyers from the middle to upper end of the market. “Such options include some large full title homes, clusters or sectional title units.”
Douglasdale is a fairly well-established area and while there are a number of new developments, there are also some older, larger family homes. According to Ebben, there are approximately 1 000 freestanding homes, 1 200 cluster homes and 2 500 sectional title properties in the area.
He says those looking to buy in Douglasdale tend to be knowledgeable about the property market and are keen to purchase a home that offers good value for money. He says many residents are young professionals aged between 30 and 45 with two or more children.
“There are also older individuals whose children have left home and they are looking to scale down from larger properties in suburbs such as Bryanston. Douglasdale still offers magnificent homes on compact properties that are more easily maintained.
Other individuals who typically buy in the area are younger couples or individuals who move from sectional title units in nearby areas such as Fourways to the more upmarket Douglasdale. Still others fall in love with the suburb and buy and sell while remaining in the area, moving from sectional title properties to larger cluster properties or freestanding homes as they advance in their careers and lives.
PGP property agent and area specialist, Brandon Marsh notes that a full title home in Douglasdale will fetch anything from R1.4 million to R4 million with the majority priced between R1.5 million and
R2.5 million. Clusters are generally placed on the market from between R1.8 million and R3 million while the asking price for the ever-popular sectional title units in the area is between R 750 000 and R1.25 million.
The suburb has been developed on what was originally the Douglasdale Farm, which was started in 1905 by Scotsman Thomas Douglas and his wife Janet who immigrated to South Africa in 1890. They called their farm Douglasdale and would later develop a highly regarded dairy that is still known for its milk today.
Marsh says one of the reasons the suburb is so popular is because residents have such a strong sense of community. He says there is a great community vibe and people are often walking, running or engaging in other group activities.
“Even more importantly perhaps is the fact that residents become involved in their community, working together to combat crime and develop the suburb’s infrastructure. The Sector 6 Forum, for example, alerts the authorities to infringements of bylaws and helps to ensure that these are complied with. The suburb is also beautifully maintained and most of the homes and complexes keep their verges attractive. All this tends to add value to the individual homes in this increasingly prestigious suburb.”
According to Marsh, the development that is going on across Fourways and its surrounds is positive for the future of suburbs such as Douglasdale. There have been infrastructural improvements and other forms of development including the construction of shopping centres, offices and housing estates all of which bode well for the property market of the greater Fourways area. The freeways and on-ramps have been upgraded which has helped to ease traffic congestion.
Marsh says Douglasdale offers easy access to the eight-lane N1 freeway and Sandton, South Africa’s financial capital. It is also close to Lanseria Airport, which is a hub for flights to other South African cities and charter flights to Africa.
“The Fourways and Bryanston areas have rapidly developed their own business hubs and many companies, including some major corporates, have set up there. This has assisted in further fuelling demand for homes in areas such as Douglasdale as increasingly more people opt for the convenience of living close to where they work and where their children go to school.”
Marsh adds that there are a number of outstanding schools near the suburb including Dainfern College, Crawford College,St Stithians College, Brescia House, Michael Mount Waldorf School, British International College, Heronbridge and The French School Lycée Jules Verne.
He says while most homes in the suburb are purchased as primary residences there is also an active rental market in the area and some high rentals are achieved, as the area is appreciated by executives and families for its proximity to work, schools and good shopping.
Clusters in high-end security estates are particularly popular among international companies seeking suitable accommodation for their staff. It should be borne in mind, however, that this market can be particular. Homes need to be suitably appointed to appeal to international corporates, so those investors who are looking to enter the market should be sure to speak to an area expert before purchasing such a property for the buy-to-let market.
Marsh says a four bedroomed cluster in Douglasdale can fetch between R14 000 and R18 000 in rentals per month.
As noted above, there are a large number of shopping and entertainment centres in the area including Fourways Mall, Fourways Crossing, Montecasino, the Valley Shopping Centre, Cedar Square and the Design Quarter.
For those seeking real convenience, the Douglasdale Shopping Centre is situated within the suburb and the Netcare Olivedale, Netcare Sunninghill and Fourways Life hospitals are all close by, providing access to top class healthcare services.
Douglasdale affords residents some of the best suburban living in Johannesburg, says Shaw. “The area remains affordable, generally sellers here have priced their homes realistically and not overpriced them as sometimes happens in areas that enjoy a buoyant property market.”
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