As value for money, coupled with convenience and accessibility of location become an increasing priority for home buyers across all sectors of the market, the strategically positioned and well-priced East Rand is proving more and more popular among such purchasers, says Nelson Ferreira, Pam Golding Properties area principal on the East Rand.
“There are a number of reasons why the East Rand is experiencing an increasing demand for homes, both to buy and to rent. With the e-tolls having come into effect, we believe that usage of the Gautrain will increase exponentially as it has effectively shortened the commercial gateway between the East Rand suburbs of Benoni, Kempton Park, Boksburg and Brakpan and the major hubs of Sandton, Rosebank, Midand and Pretoria. This is especially important for professionals and students commuting from the East Rand to these key nodes, and makes our region, with its leafy suburbs sound infrastructure and value offering of properties, a very appealing residential destination. Another recent trend we are seeing, which adds to the desirability of the area, is an increase in the number of convenience shopping centres across the entire East Rand,” he says.
“A lead indicator of a healthy property market is developer and building activity, which is busy at present. Developments which halted during the recession and post-recession have commenced one more and developers are again making land acquisitions. We recently sold a 20 000sqm development site in the upmarket area of Glen Marais, Kempton Park for R5.9 million, where the developer prefers to rent out the 160 sectional title units rather than sell. This is extremely positive for the rental market, helping meet the burgeoning demand for residential accommodation to let.”
Ferreira says most of the new developments on the East Rand are earmarked for sectional title development, which is not surprising given that in Benoni in particular, sectional title price growth has exceeded full title growth and is currently at over seven percent per annum. Apart from lock-up-and-go convenience and good location, security is an important factor resulting in sectional title units experiencing a surge in demand, while the banks are also demonstrating an appetite for providing finance for this type of property. In addition and as usual, retirement villages remain in high demand.
Increase in black middle class home buyers
“What we at Pam Golding Properties are noting is a marked increase in black, middle class home buyers – those with good earnings and supported by banks which are engaging with these clients. Some financial institutions are giving 100 percent bonds, subject to value and equity of the property. Currently over half our transactions between R350 000 and R1 million are sales to black buyers, as well as 23 percent of those buying property priced between R1 million and R2 million.
“In the price range from R2.5 million upwards, we are finding that well over 80 percent of purchasers are those either with cash or over 50 percent equity,” adds Ferreira.
Serengeti Golf & Wildlife Estate progressing well
Pam Golding Properties East Rand recently secured accreditation to sell properties in the prestigious 800ha Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate, which is ideally situated only 15km from OR Tambo International Airport and which includes a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. Home owners are automatically entitled to use of the clubhouse and also are not charged the usual once-off fee should they wish to apply for golf membership.
Says Ferreira: “The developers considered the type of buyer and clientele they wished to attract and strategically positioned this development in Kempton Park, within 30 minutes of both economic hubs of Pretoria and Johannesburg and most importantly, only eight minutes’ drive from the airport.”
Currently there are 247 occupied full title homes on the estate with a further 117 homes under construction and approved plans for a further 470 homes. Once the freehold development is complete, there will be 1175 upmarket freehold homes. “At present we are marking completed homes priced from R3.95 million to R10 million and some resale stands in the price range between R685 000 and R1.6 million. With an average erf size of 1200sqm, the minimum size home permitted is 300sqm, while the largest home built to date is 1700sqm under roof. The average size of homes being built at present is between 530 and 650sqm. Buyers can consolidate a maximum of two stands.”
The future development of the estate includes 160 upmarket sectional title units; 675 residential units envisaged as cluster housing or townhouse complexes with a density between 10 and 20 dwellings per hectare; and 17 equestrian stands of 6500sqm each, allowing two horses per stand.
There are strict architectural and landscape guidelines in Serengeti, the focus being on an African contemporary theme with earthy tones, and an abundance of glass and natural rock cladding encouraged in a bid to bring the built and natural environments together in harmony. The aim is to offer an exceptional lifestyle to the modern family by creating a feeling of being in the bush, far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday city life while remaining on the doorstep of ‘South Africa’s gateway to the world’. The estate also has a private school, the Curro Serengeti Academy, with 1200 learners (primary and high school) enrolled this year (2014).