Areas and Places

Broadcares leads the new, denser residential wave

A luxurious house in a secure complex with four en-suite bedrooms, gourmet kitchen and triple garage. On the market for R5.25 million, it’s also an entertainers dream with an all-weather patio with a built in braai and bar and infinity pool deck.

The up-and-coming northern suburb of Broadacres is the definitive new face of the Johannesburg property landscape, where densification is the order of the day to accommodate the city’s growing population.

Unlike the older suburbs in the area which are known for their expansive freehold properties predominantly situated at the top end of the market, Broadacres comprises sectional title and cluster homes with very accessible entry and mid-level prices.

This is according to Samantha Wolchuk, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, who says: “For between R800 000 and R1.5 million, one can buy a modern sectional title home which usually includes water, security and maintenance, with many complexes even offering lifestyle facilities like gyms and club houses”.

“Freestanding cluster homes here are also priced exceptionally well, starting at around R1.5m, although the top end of the market is also well catered for with more expansive family homes in secure gated communities with top class facilities ranging between R2.5m and R10m”.

“At this level, residents usually enjoy access to amenities such as staffed club houses with a restaurant, a choice of sporting facilities such as tennis and squash courts and communal pools, and entrance points are access controlled with 24-hour security.”

She adds that many of the new developments still have stands available for those who prefer the freedom of designing their own dream home.

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says that although new suburbs like Broadacres lack some of the character of the older, more established areas, the compensation is that most properties were built less than 10 years ago and therefore seldom require renovation or modernisation.

“Properties priced up to R3m in the older suburbs almost always require some TLC, which means further investment”.

“The desirability of modern ready-to-move-into homes is evidenced by the fact that, although the general market in the area has levelled off this year in line with the national trend, demand for off-plan packages in the R3m to R4m price band remains high. Investors are seeing exceptional value in the fact that they can not only buy a brand new home with their choice of finishes, but they also avoid transfer fees.”

Wolchuk says that that the proximity of nearby Sandton, South Africa’s financial powerhouse, has been a driving force in the development of suburbs like Broadacres and significantly contributed to the recovery of the market after the 2008 crash.

“By 2010 the residential market had completely recovered and grew steadily, only slowing down again towards the end of last year in the face of South Africa’s growing political uncertainty and sluggish economy.”

Despite its appealing country lifestyle atmosphere, Broadacres is very conveniently located with quick and direct access to Fourways and the William Nicol highway. The suburb is serviced by multiple shopping centres along Cedar Drive as well as the expansive Fourways Mall and Broadacres Lifestyle Centre with anchor tenants such Super Spar, Virgin Active Gym and Woolworths.

Recently completed business parks mean that many residents can enjoy the rare luxury in Johannesburg of living close to work and avoiding long hours spent in traffic congestion.

Another drawcard for young families is the fact that there are a number of good crèches and primary schools in the area and also a lot of surrounding green space where residents can enjoy an outdoor lifestyle and activities like biking and running.

Geffen predicts that although the property market in Johannesburg will be less active than last year, with buyers being more cautious, suburbs like Broadacres will continue to experience buoyancy at the lower end of the market as well as the off-plan segment.

“This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that development is continuing unabated; with a new sectional title project, The Lombardy, due to be launched in the first week of June.”