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Rising home prices in Gauteng's 'Near East Rand' towns

11 Sep 2015

Home prices in the towns of the “Near East Rand” in Gauteng have risen substantially in the past five years on the back of steady increases in sales volumes.

This two bedroom townhouse in Terenure, Kempton Park, has an open-plan kitchen and lounge with wooden floors. It is selling for R550 000 - click here to view.

According to the Rawson Property Group, in Bedfordview, for example, the average price of a freehold home rose from R2.85 million in 2009, just after the property market crashed, to R3.22 million in 2014, and currently stands at R4.11 million, according to property data company Lightstone.

The average price of a sectional title home in Bedfordview has risen from R976 000 in 2009 to R1.5 million currently, while that of a sectional title home in Kempton Park, where there has been a significant amount of new development, has risen from R883 000 in 2009 to just under R1 million currently.

But the steepest increases during this period have been in Edenvale, where the average price of freehold homes is currently 77% ahead of where it was in 2009, at R1.43 million, and that of sectional title units is up by 47% at R629 000.

This is according to Tracy Eales, the Rawson Property Group franchisee for Dowerglen, who says Edenvale’s main attraction for property buyers is its convenient location close to OR Tambo International airport and the businesses in the flourishing commercial and industrial areas of Isando, Jet Park and Sebenza, as well as the highway network which puts it within easy reach of the Johannesburg CBD, Sandton, Midrand and Pretoria.

However, she says it also has several other factors in its favour, including offering excellent value for money, good schools and excellent shopping, recreational and health facilities, and demand in this area has rocketed, especially in the past two years.

This three bedroom house in Dowerglen Ext 3, Edenvale, has a study, entertainment room with built-in bar and a covered patio overlooking a solar-heated pool. It is on the market for R3.45 million - click here to view.

Initially conceived and laid out as a town of ‘bungalow’ homes where young families could buy their first properties, Eales says it now incorporates a wide variety of home types, which means residents no longer have to move away when they reach a different life stage.

For example, those seeking to upgrade tend to move up to the bigger and more luxurious homes in areas such as Dunvegan and the Dowerglen estates to the west and north of the Glendower golf course, she says.

Eales says the prices of homes currently for sale in her area start at just under R2 million for three bedroom townhouses, and range all the way up to about R3.75 million for a luxury five bedroom family home.

And according to Lightstone, the average price of the 58 freehold properties sold in Dowerglen and the Dowerglen extensions in the past 12 months is R2.95 million. The area has its own high school and two local shopping centres, and is also close to the Jeppe Quondam club which offers a variety of sporting facilities.

In Dunvegan, an older area to the east of the golf course and close to Edenvale High School, there have been 27 freehold sales in the past 12 months at an average price of R2.5 million, and the prices of family homes currently for sale range from around R2.6 million to R3.5 million, depending on age and size.

Eales says unrenovated ‘originals’ in this area are also sought after, but hard to find now.     

This property in Essexwold, Bedfordview, has two bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen and a patio. It is priced at R1.4 million - click here to view.

For younger buyers, career singles and working couples, there are also many good quality one and two bedroom apartments for sale in Edenvale at prices between about R430 000 and R800 000, while two bedroom townhouses in secure complexes start at around R450 000 and range all the way up to around R1.2 million for the more upmarket units that are increasingly popular with older couples who are scaling down.

Rawson Property Group area franchisee, Brett Cownley, says meanwhile, the boomed-off suburb of Edenglen is sought-after by young parents whose children have just started school, not least because it is the main feeder area for highly-rated public schools such as the Edenglen, Eastleigh and Hurlyvale primary schools, and Edenglen High School.

He says these buyers generally start out by buying two or three bedroom townhouses with two bathrooms, which are available in many security complexes throughout the area at prices from around R900 000. They then graduate to the bigger freehold homes and clusters that are currently priced from R1.7 million as their families grow.

Cownley says investors are also active in this area as there is strong rental demand from people working in the nearby commercial areas, as well as those who are still saving to buy their own homes, but plan to settle their families in Edenglen.

According to Lightstone, there have been 93 sectional title sales in Edenglen in the past 12 months at an average price of R900 000.

Rawson Property Group franchisee for Kempton Park West, Emil Zwart, says buy-to-let investors are also active in Kempton Park, where there has been a considerable amount of new sectional title development in recent years, and there is constant rental demand from people working locally at OR Tambo International.

Priced at R1.65 million, this modern home in Van Riebeeck Park, Kempton Park, has five bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen, three reception rooms and a study. Click here to view.

Zwart says the town is already benefiting from the long-term plans that the Airports Company (Acsa) has to develop an ‘aerotropolis’ around the airport, as it is home to many airline headquarters and travel-related accommodation, entertainment, retail, convention, trade and exhibition businesses whose employees also need homes, as well as all the medical, education, food and transport companies that serve its ever-growing population.

“In addition, the Ekurhuleni campus of the Vaal University of Technology is in this area, and because there is now a Gautrain link to Sandton and Johannesburg, many young people who work in those areas are choosing to live in Kempton Park, which still offers better value despite its rapidly rising popularity,” he says.

The most popular suburbs for these buyers are Birchleigh, Birchleigh North, Birch Acres and Norkem Park, where one and two bedroom apartments are still available at prices below R400 000, and two bedroom townhouses can be purchased for less than R500 000.

At the other end of the price scale is Bedfordview, the most expensive of the three “Near East” towns in terms of real estate, and the closest to Johannesburg central.

This area has become best known in the past 10 years for its upmarket cluster developments on many of the original large stands, and for the trendy apartments and penthouses in the high-rise blocks surrounding the Bedford Gardens retail and entertainment centre.

Rawson Property Group area franchisee, Tylon Naicker, says the area is favoured by wealthy families, primarily because of the many excellent schools in the area, but also because of its central location, the high security of its estates and complexes, and its well-developed shopping, entertainment and medical facilities. 

Naicker says schools in the area include St Andrews, a private school for girls, and St Benedicts for boys, Bishop Bavin, Saheti, Redham, King David, Bedford Primary and Bedfordview High.

Shopping and entertainment venues include the huge Eastgate Mall, Village View and Key West, as well as Bedford Centre.

Sports facilities in or close to Bedfordview include the Glendower, Linksfield and Royal Johannesburg and Kensington golf courses, and a choice of athletics, baseball, bowls, cricket, hockey, rugby, soccer, tennis and squash facilities at the Jeppe Quondam Sports Club and the Bedfordview Country Club, which also has a Virgin Active gym on its grounds.

Naicker says the prices of the luxury three and four bedroom cluster homes in Bedfordview’s most sought-after security developments currently start at around R5 million, but first-time buyers looking to get a toehold in the area can still acquire one bedroom apartments in the Bedford Gardens complex for just over R500 000.
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