By and large experts all agree that the gentrification of Braamfontein has been a major success, but some are now hinting at a great investment opportunity, saying that more young professionals would move to Bramfontein if there wasn’t such a shortage of suitable accommodation.
Byron Cornish, a licensee of Seeff in the Johannesburg CBD said that, while Braamfontein is still mostly a student area, it is also experiencing a greater demand from young professionals who want to live closer to where they work.
“There are currently 12 sectional title buildings in Braamfontein, most of which offer small bachelor apartments geared towards students, but we are also seeing a good presence of young professionals looking to buy their first apartments,” explained Cornish. “Until new developments geared towards young professionals are built this will remain a mostly student area as this is where investors are getting their returns of up to 12%”.
According to Cornish the biggest change in Braamfontein has been on the commercial front where many new shops, restaurants, bars and the ‘neighbourgoods market’ have all opened in recent years. “The rest of the CBD has also seen improvements. Ranging from fixing up the streets to erecting new shopping centres like the Newtown Junction.”
Property prices in Braamfontein and the CBD vary, but start at around R500,000 for a bachelor or one bedroom apartment in Braamfontein to a R1m for an apartment in the CBD. There are also a few penthouses which range from R1m to R4m.
Cornish added that, even Hillbrow, where there is still a safety concern, is experiencing a revival with big brans and shops opting to move back into the area. Banks, however, have reportedly not caught up to this trend yet.
“The biggest challenge in Hillbrow is that the banks aren’t keen to grant loans here because of the reputation it has. As a result 90% of Hillbrow is let by tenants and not occupied by owners at the moment,” said Cornish. “A tenant renting a bachelor apartment in Hillbrow pays rent of around R2,500 per month, where the buying cost of the unit would be R150,000 to R200,000.”
Top photo: Investment opportunity – This penthouse, marketed for R2,5m by Seeff, is ideally located 100m from the Tshimologong Precinct