Areas and Places

North Riding property continues to ride high

North Riding, situated some 30 km northeast of Johannesburg’s CBD and 20 km from the ever popular work node, Sandton City, has for many years now been one of Gauteng’s most sought after middle class residential areas – and the main factor other than its position contributing to this is its ‘incredibly reasonable’ prices, generally within the affordability of many of today’s buyers.

Taryn Steven, who for eight years now has been the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for the area (and whose team has been the top rental franchise nationally in the group), says that prices range from R650,000 to R1,7 million for sectional title units and from R1 million to R3,5 million for freehold units. However, says Steven, they are still rising at just on 10% per annum, making it essential that those hoping to buy here get their finances in order as soon as possible so that they are not left behind by price rises.

Right now, says Steven, several of the banks are showing signs of easing up slightly on the criteria for bond awards, with the result that almost 70% of the bond applications put through by this franchise (using the Rawson Property Group’s bond origination division, Rawson Finance) have recently been successful.

As in most high demand areas, says Steven, rental increases have been good, averaging at around 7% per annum. This franchise, which runs a very active rental division, lets out units at anything from R5,500 to R20,000 per month and is on average signing one new lease per working day while currently managing a growing book. Due to stringent approval criteria, there is only a 1% default figure, of which Steven is very proud.

Steven says that apart from the advantages North Riding confers as regards price and position, it also benefits from having excellent retail centers, like North Riding Square, Bellairs Mall and All Saints Shopping Centre. There are also good schools (notably Cooper College, Sharonlea Primary, North Riding Senior and Trinity North Riding). It seems almost certain therefore, she says, that this is one precinct in which demand for homes will continue to be strong despite national decreases in home price rises.

“It has to be realized that in the 2008 to 2010 slump our prices held firm and in fact we have in the last ten years never had a year in which they dropped off significantly. There can, in my view, be no safer place to invest in residential property – and the lack of development opportunities throughout the area will, of course, ensure that existing stock remains very much in demand.”