What Gauteng buyers want and where they’re getting their fix
Gauteng’s first-time buyers are basing their purchasing decisions on affordability and security. This is according to Bill Rawson, chairman of the Rawson Property Group, who says this trend is reflected very clearly in the popularity of the new apartment, townhouse and estate developments that offer two- and three-bedroom homes for less than R1m with good security.
“These developments also enjoy easy access to shops and either a public transport hub or a major employment node,” he says.
Areas that offer many such developments – and which are currently experiencing high numbers of sales as a result, he says, include Crystal Park and Modderbee in Benoni; Cosmo City; parts of Johannesburg’s new south; Grand Central and Noordwyk in Midrand; Die Hoewes and Rooihuiskraal in Centurion, and Hatfield, Annlin, Doornpoort and Pretoria North in Tshwane.
The busiest of these areas is arguably Die Hoewes where, according to property data company Lightstone, sectional title sales have topped 500 in the past 12 months, at an average price of R782,000.
In the same period, Noordwyk has notched up 254 sectional title sales at an average price of R806,000; Annlin 233 sectional title sales at an average price of R711,000; Pretoria North 192 sectional title sales at an average price of R449,000; Grand Central 132 sectional title sales at an average price of R624,000; and Doornpoort 126 sectional title sales at an average of R809,000.
Rawson says that for older buyers, who have usually built up some equity in a first property that they can use as a deposit on the purchase of their second or third homes, security and easy access to good schools is more important than affordability.
“And it is this particular combination of the three main factors that we currently see driving consistent demand for the upmarket homes in lifestyle estates that have their own schools, such as Dainfern, Cornwall Hill, Midstream, Waterfall and Woodhill, and for secure homes in areas such as Bedfordview, Parkview, Parktown, Fourways, Kyalami, Brooklyn, Menlo Park and Lynnwood, which have long been sought-after for their proximity to a choice of highly-rated public and private schools,” he says, noting that in Midstream there have been 372 home sales in the past 12 months at an average of R3,1m, while in Bedfordview, there have been 308 sales, mostly of cluster homes and sectional title homes, at an average price of R2,9m.
“Other leading performers include Kyalami, where there have been more than 235 sales of estate and sectional title homes in the past 12 months at an average price of around R2,5m; Fourways/Fourways Gardens, where there have been 191 sales at an average price of around R2,6m; and Lynnwood, with 132 sales at an average of R2,6m.”
Size and the city
The two other trends that are currently having the most influence on demand patterns in Gauteng are downsizing and new urbanism.
“The former is occurring mostly among those whose children are grown and who are seeking to move to smaller homes and achieve a combination of more security, lower maintenance requirements (more convenience) and relief from rising property operating costs,” says Rawson. “And it is boosting demand for the luxury cluster homes that are now being built on the very large stands in traditionally affluent areas such as Bryanston, Houghton, Hyde Park, Sandhurst and Waterkloof, and for homes in the increasing number of upscale retirement villages that are now springing up across the region.”
Meanwhile, new urbanism – or the desire to live closer to urban hubs in order to reduce commuting and be within walking distance of work, shops, recreation and schools – is having a dual effect. “On the one hand it is driving young executives and professionals to snap up new apartments in rejuvenated central areas such as Auckland Park, Braamfontein, New Doornfontein, Rosebank and Rivonia in Johannesburg and Hatfield and Menlo Park in Pretoria, where everything they need is conveniently close at hand and they are able to afford their relatively expensive but high-security homes by saving both time and money on transport.”