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SA’s best schooling districts: Where to buy property?

16 Jan 2020

Whether you have children or not, purchasing near a desirable school district is always a smart investment decision. Demand for homes within school catchment areas will always exist, which gives sellers in these areas reassurance that they will be able to sell timeously and close to full value. 

This four bedroom home in Plantations Estate, Hillcrest in Durban's Upper Highway area, offers a large walled garden and is pet friendly. It is selling for R3.995 million - click here to view.

“Owing to entrance requirements based on proximity, many buyers with young families choose a suburb purely based on the schooling district they want to be in and will refuse to look at any properties that lie outside of these areas. For this reason, those who are looking for properties purely based upon investment value ought to consider properties within one of the catchment areas of a reputable schooling district as the demand for these properties will always exist as long as the school maintains its reputation,” says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.

To confirm this, Frikkie van Eeden, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Advantage in Rosebank, explains that despite a slowdown in the mid- to luxury-segment of the market (anything above R3 million) last year, properties near to the top schools were the ones attracting buyers.

This home in Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, has five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, top quality finishes and amazing views. It is selling for R11.5 million - click here to view.

“Anything within walking distance from Jan Cilliers (in Parkview, probably the most sought-after Afrikaans Primary School in Johannesburg) has been in great demand. This just shows once again that parents will always prioritise proximity to a good school above almost all their own wants and needs,” van Eeden explains.

He suggests that the northern suburbs of Johannesburg hold prime examples of desirable schooling districts. “Blessed with a number of good schools, families and investors are flocking to these suburbs. Upper Houghton and Houghton Estate are doing well, partly because of their proximity to the commercial hubs of Johannesburg, but also because of the surrounding schools such as King Edward VII and St John’s College. Parkview and Greenside have also been very popular with Afrikaans-speaking households who are drawn to the area by schools such as Helpmekaar.”

Behind the modest character-cottage façade, this four bedroom family home in Rondebosch, Cape Town, offers generous space, high ceilings, wooden floors, sundrenched porch and more. It is priced at R4.45 million - click here to view.

For those in Durban, Shane Pearson, Broker/Manager at RE/MAX Address in Hillcrest, explains that clients are drawn to suburbs within the Upper Highway area, such as Kearsney College, St Mary’s, Thomas More, Curro, and Highbury, purely owing to the attraction of the top-quality private schools nearby.

Within the Western Cape, Kevin Jacobs, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Premier in Claremont, explains that there are many sought-after private schools, such as Herschel Girls Senior School and Bishops, within the Claremont and Rondebosch areas. “Our office, which is near to many sought-after private schools, starts getting incredibly busy with these sorts of buyers usually around August or September. This tends to be the best time to find a home if you’re hoping to enrol your child in a new school for the following school year,” Jacobs explains.    

This beautifully renovated home in Claremont, Cape Town, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, lots of natural light and a wraparound garden with artificial grass. It is selling for R2.7 million - click here to view.

This is because many parents of children who are of school-going age will already own property and the process of selling can take anywhere between three to six months. Thereafter, registering a sale at the Deeds Office can take anywhere around three months. Altogether, it could take around nine months before buyers can move into their new home.

“Now is the perfect time to start searching for a new home if you’re hoping to move in time for your child to be enrolled before the start of the 2021 school year. The market also currently favours buyers, which means that buyers could still manage to get a good deal if they find a new home during this period of slow house price growth,” says Goslett.

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