Residential property in Northcliff and surrounds, sited ten kilometres west of Johannesburg, fared better than most Johannesburg suburbs in the 2008 to 2009 downturn – and is now showing signs of steady improvement in both sales and prices.
This was said recently by Jan Oberholzer, who has been the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for this long established suburb (the first houses were built in the 1930s) since 2010.
“There are now,” says Oberholzer, “23,160 homes in Northcliff and its surrounding areas and roughly 10% change owners every year.”
The reason for the area’s popularity, said Oberholzer, is that the majority of homes are priced from R500,000 to R2 million, with most of the sales taking place in the R1,3 million to R1,8 million brackets.
This, he said, should not give the impression that the entire suburb is made up of low and middle bracket homes: in Northcliff and the surrounds, his franchise can also offer large beautifully finished homes priced from R15 million upwards.
Nevertheless, said Oberholzer, the price bracket of most homes in Northcliff is exactly right for today’s Johannesburg buyer. His buyers, he said, like the fact that, aside from its reasonable prices, Northcliff is ideally positioned as a commuting suburb to the city centre and to Sandton and Randburg, via the N1 Ring Road. These suburbs, he said, absorb almost half of Johannesburg’s middle class work force today.
“Another factor that makes the area popular,” said Oberholzer, “is the presence of good schools, such as: Northcliff Primary, Cliff View Primary, Fairlands Laerskool, Linden Hoerskool and Northcliff High School, all of which consistently achieve good results.”
“In 2011 a staggering 266 homes were sold in Northcliff alone – this gives us some idea of how steady the demand for homes in this area is. In 2012 the figure dropped to 237, but this year,” said Oberholzer, “I foresee the figure rising close to 300.”
His own franchise is, in fact, now selling up to fifteen homes per month.
“Our big challenge now,” he said, “is to find the stock to meet the demand.”
Asked to give three good examples of homes offering good value in his area in the low, medium and upper brackets Oberholzer mentioned:
1. A two bedroom, two bathroom 56 m2 apartment in Northcliff Terrace, a secure guarded development. The corner unit on the upper floor has diagonal views across Johannesburg’s western suburbs and the asking price here is R570, 000.
2. A two bedroom, one bathroom, 87 m2 apartment with a large patio leading off the living room and main bedroom. This unit has some of the best views available in Northcliff and is priced at R875, 000. The finishes include tiled floors and granite kitchen countertops.
3. A large home typical of the area’s more upmarket properties. With three reception rooms, three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the home has a 350 m2 floor area and is sited on a 1983 m2 erf. The list price here is R2, 790,000.
“By any standards,” said Oberholzer, “these properties represent good value – and offer buyers an opportunity to realise significant capital growth over the next five years because, at the moment, demand in Northcliff outstrips supply.”