Areas and Places

Young high-flyers target 'old money' Waterkloof

More than R227m worth of homes have changed hands in the past year in Waterkloof, which remains Pretoria’s most sought-after address.

Situated east of the citycentre, Waterkloof was one of the original farms that made up Pretoria, and its elevated position means that many of the luxury homes in the suburb boast spectacular views, notes Wilna Rautenbach, the area specialist for Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Known as the home of many ambassadors and politicians as well as top professionals and executives, the suburb incorporates the Pretoria Country Club with its outstanding golf course, and is close to all the best schools in the city, the University of Pretoria, Unisa, top-quality restaurants, shopping malls and hospitals. It is also just a few kilometres from the highway network,” she says.

“However, although it is a heritage suburb with an “old-money” atmosphere, Waterkloof homes come in a very wide variety of ages and architectural styles, ranging in price from less than R2m all the way up to around R55m.

“And it is proving increasingly attractive now to a younger generation of high earners who love the convenient location and are finding good value in its older properties, even when they are in need of renovation. Indeed, buyers here generally view any property in Waterkloof as a good investment and will quite often purchase an older home and demolish it just to obtain a stand here on which to build their dream home.”

The original stands in Waterkloof were 2552sqm and most have been subdivided into two portions over the years. But there have been very few applications for rezoning that resulted in stands of less than 1000sqm, Rautenbach says, so most homes here still have spacious gardens with large trees.

Schools in the area include Waterkloof Primary, Anton von Wouw Laerskool,Waterkloof House Preparatory and the American International School. It is also well placed in relation to other top city schools such as Crawford, Courtney International, Pretoria Boys’, Pretoria Girls’ and the Afrikaanse HoërSeunskool and HoërMeisieskool (Affies).

The suburb also offers easy access to the highway system that rings the city and is central to upmarket shopping and entertainment complexes such as the Brooklyn and Menlyn malls, as well as Waterkloof Corner and the Waterkloof Ridge Lifestyle Centre. There are also many top restaurants in the suburb and it offers a variety of sporting facilities as well as the golf course at the Pretoria Country Club, she says.

“And although it has not been boomed off as a whole, security in Waterkloof is excellent, with several private security companies patrolling the streets.”

The average price paid this year for freehold properties in Waterkloof is R3,6m, and that for sectional title properties R2m. Prices in the area fell quite dramatically after the 2009 recession, but stabilized in 2011 and have been rising since due to strong demand , Rautenbach says.

“Nevertheless, high-end houses here generally take longer than three months to sell – although in recent times there have been listings sold within 24 hours. Rentals, meanwhile, are mostly to embassies prepared to sign long leases.”