Florida, to the west of Johannesburg, began its life as a mining town, and many of its older homes are similar to the standard “mine houses” and low-rise “council flats” one can find in many other former dormitory suburbs right across the Witwatersrand.
“However, as it grew, it gave rise to the surrounding suburbs of Florida Lake, Florida Park, Florida Hills, Florida View and Florida Glen, where each new generation of residents built more modern homes and apartments so that today, there is a huge variety of properties on offer,” said local Rawson Property Group franchisee Gerald Houston. “Average prices in these areas range all the way from around R350,000 for a flat in Florida Lake, to R2,1m for a large and luxurious family home in Florida Hills.”
In the course of its development, he notes, Florida obviously became a distinctly middle-class node before going through something of a decline in the 1990s and early 2000s and then becoming popular again due to its excellent location and affordability.
“And these two factors currently make it especially attractive to younger buyers, with people in their 20s and early 30s accounting for up to 70% of all property purchases in older areas such as Florida, Florida North and Florida Lake, according to property data company Lightstone,” he said. “Prices have risen quite steeply in the past few years but flats are still available from around R280,000 for a two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit in Florida proper to about R700,000 for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with a garage.”
The average house price in these areas, he said, ranges from around R850,000 in Florida Lake to about R1,1m in Florida North, and there are still many older homes priced at less than R800,000.
Houston said Florida is also home to a number of sought-after schools, including Florida Primary, Laerskool Florida, Florida Park High and Hoërskool Florida, and that this attracts many buyers in the 35 to 50 age group with school going children, who now account for the majority of home purchases in the newer and more upmarket areas of Florida Park, Florida Hills, Florida View and Florida Glen.
“The homes here are much larger and more modern and the average house price ranges from about R1,35m to R2,1m, while the top end of the market currently is just over R5m for a six-bedroom, five-bathroom mansion recently sold in Florida Hills.”