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Moving metros? Joburg fits most pockets

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Johannesburg offers a wide range of property options to suit every pocket – from the middle market in the South to the middle-upper and high-end in the North. While many areas are witnessing new housing developments and upgrades to their amenities, others seem to have been left out in the cold.

What you get for your rand, however, depends heavily on where you live, what stock levels exist, as well as who your neighbours are.

As part of HomeTimes’ Moving metros series, we take a closer look across Jozi’s various suburbs, asking area specialists what homes cost to buy and rent, how much home buyers and tenants can expect, as well as what the suburbs are like to live in.

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While the popular suburb of Northcliff has the reputation of large R5m+ homes, the market is large and varied enough that there are a broad range of properties available to home buyers. This is according to Christopher Hajec, Seeff’s MD in Randburg, who says in addition to the high-end luxury homes that are the trademark of Northcliff, the suburb has had numerous developments which offer townhouse sectional title units priced between R750,000 and R3m, where buyers are frequently able to snap up a small one- or two-bedroom townhouse apartment for as low as R750,000.

“Likewise, if you’re on the lookout you can also find more upmarket sectional title units and free-standing residential homes around the R3m mark but they won’t offer those truly exceptional Northcliff views – where, on a clear day, you can see straight through to Pretoria,” says Hajec.

On the rentals front, R5,000 gets tenants bachelor and one-bedroom upstairs units in Northcliff, according to Tracy Pugin, Seeff rentals licensee in Randburg.

“R10,000 affords tenants three-bedroom cluster units with a garage and garden, while R15,000 pays for a three- or four-bedroom house with a pool and double garage, and servant’s quarters,” says Pugin, noting that Northcliff is a well-kept area that enjoys a lot of community involvement. “It is an older area, so many of the homeowners have been here for 20 and more years.

“There are also a number new families moving into the area to be closer to their work place or schools in Randburg and Sandton. The roads are well kept and the council is often seen working in the area to upgrade and repair pipes.”

Jawitz Properties’ Randburg manager, Yniss Wilson, concurs, saying professionals and first-time home buyers are entering the suburb – especially the top of the hill which is a prestigious location.

“The ward councillor is active in the area and open areas and parks are relatively well maintained and used by the residents,” says Wilson, noting that the area is a firm favourite for runners and cyclists. “It is a well-developed area with some or little vacant land available for new development.”

Neighbouring Ferndale offers two-bedroom apartments from R750,000, while R1,2m affords buyers three- or four-bedroom townhouses.

Buying in Ferndale? Start you property search here

Wilson says sectional title units do not fetch more than R2,5m in the suburb due to buyers being first timers and investors thanks to high rental demand. The suburb, however, is not immune to bad elements with Wilson saying there is a large vagrant problem resulting in quite a lot of garbage in the existing parks.

“The area, in general, is relatively run-down, although certain areas of Ferndale are very well maintained,” she says. “There is nonetheless a lot of development happening with old and large properties being converted to sectional schemes.”

The picture gets prettier in Bromhof where R750,000 buys two- or three-bedroom apartments and sectional title units; R1,2m pays for two- or three-bedroom homes on smaller stands while R2,5m is highest price attained in the suburb.

“The new buyers are young couples and also single people who are starting out,” says Wilson, noting the cluster complexes are more upmarket and are attracting older couples as well. “People who are down scaling are also interested in the smaller properties.

“Since the suburb offers value for money (prices are much lower than in the nearby suburbs of Boskruin and Randpark Ridge) middle-class families are interested in buying in the area. The only trouble here is that Bromhof seems so have lots of damp issues and people are not maintaining their properties as well as they used to. It could be due to the economic climate and affordability issues, or it could be due to lack of interest from newer owners. Certain areas of Bromhof are still well maintained and Bromhof remains excellent value for money. There is no vacant land and I doubt whether the ward councillor is active. However, owners in the suburb are hoping for a change in the coming municipal elections.”

An artist's impression of Central Square in Sandton, located adjacent to the World Trade Centre.

An artist’s impression of Central Square in Sandton, located adjacent to the World Trade Centre.

Ever-popular Sandton offers little in the R750,000 price category, with Charles Vining, Seeff’s MD for Seeff Sandton, saying that amount of money will get buyers a studio or a one-bedroom apartment in the outlying suburbs of Sandton.

“A great one-bedroom apartment could be bought at R1,2m and then apartments and townhouses of varying sizes, right up to comfortable cluster homes in suburbs like Bryanston for R3m and upwards,” he says, noting that R5,000 is insufficient to rent in Sandton’s various suburbs. “

For R10,000 you will find a comfortable two-bedroom apartment or small townhouse, and from R15,000+ you can find spacious two- or three-bedroom accommodation.”

Buying in Hyde Park? Start your property search here

He notes that Sandton in general is well looked after and new amenities are being developed all the time with new housing developments taking place in Hyde Park and Bryanston. “There are some exciting things coming in Sandton Central, too,” says Vining.

Randburg according to Jawitz Properties

Melville/Westdene (Rental)

R5,000: 1 bed or studio
R10,000: 2 to 3 bed depending on location
R15,000: 3 to 4 bed house or cluster



R750,000 to R950,000: 2 bed apartment/townhouse

R1,2m to R2,5m: 3/4 bed townhouse

R3m to R3,5m: 4/6 bed townhouse


Randpark, Fontainebleau & Windsor Glen

R750,000: 1 to 2 bed apartments in Fontainebleau. None in Randpark or Windsor Glen

R1,2m: 2 to 3 bed sectional title units in Fontainebleau. None in Randpark or Windsor Glen

R3m+: Nothing. Randpark max is R2,8m.



R750,000: 1, 2 or 3 bed apartments and some sectional title townhouses

R1,2m: 2 to 3 bed sectional title townhouses

R3m: Nothing. Max is upper R2 millions



R750,000: 1 bed apartment

R1,2m: 2/3 bed apartment and townhouse

R3m+: freehold 3+ beds with cottage or granny flat


Robin Hills

R750,000: 1 bed apartment

R1,2m: 2/3 bed apartment/townhouse

R3m+: freehold 3+ bed plus cottage


Robin Acres

R750,000: Nothing

R1,2m: Nothing

R3m+: 4 bed house



R750,000: Nothing

R1,2m: 2/3 bed apartment/townhouse

R3m+: Nothing



R750,000: Nothing

R1,2m: 2/3 bed apartment/townhouse

R3m+: Nothing


President Ridge

R750,000: Nothing

R1,2m: 2/3 bed apartment/townhouse

R3m+: Nothing


Jukskei Park

R750,000: 2 bed apartment/townhouse

R1,2m: 3 bed townhouse

R3m+: Nothing



R750,000: 3 bed apartment/townhouse

R1,2m: 3 bed townhouse

R2,7m+: Nothing



R750,000: 2 bed apartment/townhouse

R1,2m: 3 bed townhouse

R3m+:  Nothing above R2,8m in regular freehold houses. The upmarket cluster development Olive Wood Estate has fetched up to R5,5m

This modern three-bedroom home with a separate cottage and staff accommodation is available through Lew Geffen Sotheby's in Highlands North for R2,495m

This modern three-bedroom home with a separate cottage and staff accommodation is available through Lew Geffen Sotheby’s in Highlands North for R2,495m

The Northeastern suburbs of Orange Grove, Sydenham, Fairmount and Highlands North are being impacted on by the development of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transport project initiated by the City of Johannesburg.

This is according to Howard Hoff, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty area specialist for these suburbs.

“Because of city council input in the Rea Vaya transit project as well as the Corridors of Freedom programme there is now a reasonably well-managed and monitored interest in the area by the City of Johannesburg,” says Hoff. “Orange Grove is moving toward a multicultural, high-density, multi-functional city plan in which the local councillor is visibly involved. Fairmount and Highlands North still retain their suburban feel and development in these suburbs has been limited.

“Development in Orange Grove includes educational, recreational and medical facilities in a dynamic new design that has been created by some of the country’s best creative minds with the sole aim of revitalising the area.”

New housing developments are taking place along the Rea Vaya/Louis Botha transport route through to Norwood, which is set to be the central retail hub of the district, says Hoff.

“Old buildings along this busy thoroughfare will make way for high-density, low-cost, multilevel accommodation which will initially be allocated to qualifying families,” he says. “The value of these homes will range between R650,000 and R1,2m, and once they hit the market for resale will probably be in great demand.”

Here’s what’s coming to Wynberg as part of the city’s Corridors of Freedom project

Currently, however, in Orange Grove you can still buy a small original starter home with one bathroom in need of renovation from R750,000, while original homes in Highlands North in need of some TLC can be acquired from R1,3m and R1,6m in Fairmount.

“In Orange Grove, most of the larger entry-level houses with a touch of modernisation, start at around R1,35m,” says Hoff. “But these are becoming scarce and it now takes a little patience and luck to find a property below R1,5m.

“Houses under R2m are quickly snapped up by first-time buyers and developers, while R2,5m to R3m will buy a spacious family home in Orange Grove with modern features, such as state-of-the-art kitchens and luxurious bathrooms – most were built in the 1940s and 1950s with a strong Italian influence.

How well do you know Houghton Estate?

“In Fairmount buyers can expect to find modern three-bedroom cluster homes and original three- or four-bedroom houses for R2,4m to R2,9m. The R3m+ price band will buy a modern four-bedroom family home in all the above areas, with the top-end of the market being around R6,6m for a luxurious home in Fairmount with multiple reception rooms and all the bells and whistles.”

This fully renovated three-bedroom Orange Grove family home with an established garden is on the market from R1,875m through Lew Geffen Sotheby's.

This fully renovated three-bedroom Orange Grove family home with an established garden is on the market from R1,875m through Lew Geffen Sotheby’s.

Northeast rentals according to Lew Geffen Sotheby’s

R5,000: a self-contained cottage situated on the grounds of a family home.

R10,000: 3 bed home with 2 bathrooms and a neat garden in Orange Grove

R15,000+: a choice of the best accommodation on offer, usually including two garages and a swimming pool


Glenvista, Mulbarton and Meyersdal offers two-bedroom, one bathroom sectional title units sized at 70m2 in an upmarket complex for around R750,000.

This is according to Nicholas Falck, Seeff agent in Johannesburg South, who says R1,2m will buy a two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom duplex in an upmarket complex approximately 125m2 in size.

How well do you know Brackenhurst?

“R3m will buy a modern free-standing cluster unit approximately 300m2 under roof with a double garage and a private swimming pool,” says Falck. “Alternatively, you could get a modern free-standing house approximately 400m2 to 600m2 under roof, on a 1,400m2 stand with a newly renovated kitchen and modern bathrooms.”

While these suburbs are no longer being maintained in the manner they should be, they are still maintaining their value, says Falck, noting that communities are now more than ever working together to maintain and uplift the areas in their suburbs.

“Shopping centres are also being developed, causing excitement in the suburbs and bringing in new business,” he says. “Other facilities are taking advantage of this, for example Rietvlei Zoo-farm which has expanded its offerings and services in recent years to include a nursery, mountain biking/hiking/running trails, horse riding facilities, soccer fields and a driving range.

“Plus, there are restaurants and a “park run” to encourage family participation. It has become an increasingly popular attraction both for local residents and people from other suburbs/regions in Joburg.”

This four-bedroom villa boasts a double-volume formal living area, a separate flat and many unique state-of-the-art features. Located in Fairmount, it is on the market for R6,6m through Lew Geffen Sotheby's.

This four-bedroom villa boasts a double-volume formal living area, a separate flat and many unique state-of-the-art features. Located in Fairmount, it is on the market for R6,6m through Lew Geffen Sotheby’s.

South rentals according to Seeff

R5,000: 1 bed, 1 bath unit approximately 55m2

R10,000: 2 bed, 2 bath or 3 bed, 2 bath sectional title unit approximately 110m2 for both, possibly with a private garden

R15,000: free-standing duplex in an upmarket complex approximately 200m2 in size. Or alternatively a semi-modern free-standing house with the same specifications.

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David A Steynberg, managing editor and director of HomeTimes, has more than 10 years of experience as both a journalist and editor, having headed up Business Day’s HomeFront supplement, SAPOA’s range of four printed titles, digimags Asset in Africa and the South African Planning Institute’s official title, Planning Africa, as well as B2B titles, Building Africa and Water, Sewage & Effluent magazines. He began his career at Farmer’s Weekly magazine before moving on to People Magazine where he was awarded two Excellence Awards for Best Real Life feature as well as Writer of the Year runner-up. He is also a past fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation.

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