Areas and Places

Pretoria's Menlo Park: value for money and prime location

SPACIOUS FAMILY LIVING: This double storey four bedroom home is an entertainers dream and has a light, airy living area which flows out to the garden and pool as well as a separate braai room. On the market for R2.995 million, the property also includes two outbuildings, a double garage and two carports.

The property market in Menlo Park has experienced an upsurge in the past three years with average prices increasing by more than 30% during this time.

This is according to Karin Petzer, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty who says: “Three years ago, older entry level three bedroom houses on traditional 1 115m² erfs could still be bought for around and R1 million, and today the same homes are selling for between R1.3m and R1.5m.”

Nestled between upmarket suburbs like Waterkloof, Lynnwood and Brooklyn, this gem in the Old East of Pretoria offers excellent value for money in a high value zone.

Petzer says: “Property prices are more affordable in Menlo Park than its immediate, more luxurious neighbours, but residents enjoy all the same conveniences, which has made the area very attractive to families seeking a safe suburban environment that is in close proximity to excellent schools and top class amenities.”

According to Petzer, this is largely due to the establishment of the Regional and Spatial Development Framework which was instituted to guide development in the area.

“The introduction of the RSDF put a spotlight on the suburb and developers quickly recognised the value of certain prime areas. This attracted many savvy investors who are now realising better-than-average equity growth in their investments”.

“Many of the erfs in these locations were rezoned and high density units are being developed by teams of developers under the guidance of town planners.”

Petzer says that many of these new developments offer buyers very accessible entry level options, with comfortable two bedroom apartments starting at R800 000.

“Older complexes are also attracting a lot of attention as the room sizes are bigger and their potential for refurbish good. These units can mostly be bought for under R2m.”

At the upper end of the market are modernised and refurbished freehold houses as well as several of the new upmarket sectional title developments which offer a more luxurious lifestyle, but this comes at a premium.

“Most of these are sold off plan,” says Petzer, “And they generally range in price between R3.7m and R4.4m while the refurbished houses usually sell for between R3m and R3.5m”

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty says: “There has been a marked upswing in market activity, with 71 recorded sales to date for 2015 compared to an average of 56 for 2013 and 2014″.

“We are also seeing an emerging market of young professionals who are attracted to the area by the new luxury upmarket sectional title developments, many of whom work at companies like FSB, PWC, Investec and Adams and Adams.”

Petzer says that one of the suburbs main draw cards is its convenient location and close proximity to the N1 highway, the CBD and major shopping malls (Menlyn, Hillcrest Boulevard and Brooklyn Mall).

Menlo Park is also only a stone’s throw from The University of Pretoria and a short drive from Unisa, with four major medical care centres in the area.

Families are also attracted by the high level of security the suburb enjoys since the residents established their own security initiative six years ago.

“The initiative has worked extremely well,” says Petzer, “and there are now about 250 families supporting the service which includes foot and car patrols, boom manning and home alarm services”.

“It is also well supported by the Brooklyn Police Station, which claims one of the highest crime resolution and closure rates in the country.”

Petzer concludes: “Part of Menlo Park’s charm is its eclectic character which sets it apart from its upmarket neighbours which have retained their character of yesteryear”.

“The Menlo Park property landscape is now a fusion of smart, modern, architect-designed homes for the growing number of young professionals and artistically-minded and the traditional older homes which have been proudly maintained by senior owners for more than 15 years.