Areas and Places

New mall shines light on great value in JHB new South

An example of one of the high end homes available at the Meyersdal Eco Estate. Set on a large stand of 1150sqm, this home has been listed at R26 million.

The R1,8 billion Mall of the South, which has now been open for just over six months, has definitely raised the profile of the surrounding areas to the south of Johannesburg, according to Johan van Tonder, the local Rawson Property Group franchisee here.

The 65 000 sqm super-regional mall, which has more than 170 shops and restaurants, is located at the corner of Swartkoppies Road and Kliprivier Drive in Aspen Hills, and is also within easy reach for residents of suburbs such as Glenvista and Mulbarton, as well as parts of Alberton such as Meyersdal, Brackenhurst and Brackendowns.

“And we are seeing an increased awareness of these areas now among potential homebuyers – which is great as it gives us the opportunity to showcase their many other attractions, including excellent schools, panoramic views, and easy access to the Johannesburg CBD and East Rand,” says van Tonder.

“There are also several upmarket estates in these areas that offer extremely good value for money, as well as top-class golf courses, many other sporting facilities and a lovely nature reserve where one can view a great diversity of wildlife and many items of archaeological and historical interest.”

More importantly, says van Tonder, this sweep of suburbs in what is often termed the “New South” offers a huge variety of modern homes to suit everyone from first-time buyers to retirees, and including newlyweds, growing families and top executives.

“Probably the best-known part of the New South is Glenvista, a large suburb which is said to house more self-made millionaires than any other part of Johannesburg, and enjoys such a beautiful location that those who are lucky enough to live there seldom want to leave”.

“In fact, almost half of its current homeowners (47%) have lived in Glenvista for more than 10 years, and about 70% of recent buyers have been over the age of 35, and mostly repeat buyers looking to settle down in their second or third homes.”

The Glenvista Country Club with its immaculate golf course lies at the heart of the suburb, and many homes here offer spectacular views as they are built on the surrounding rocky koppies, while others offer large stands with well-established, gracious gardens that are perfect for family buyers, he says.

And yet, according to property data company Lightstone, the average price of the freehold homes sold in Glenvista over the past 12 months is just R2,1 million, while the average price of the sectional title units sold in the same period is R1,2 million – which represents outstanding value for money when one considers what the area offers in terms of access and facilities.

“In fact, even at the top end of the local market, the most expensive home we currently have for sale in Glenvista is a multi-storey four-bedroom mansion that offers expansive views as well as three bathrooms, four living/entertainment areas, staff accommodation, a pool, four garages and a large garden, all for just R4,9 million.”

However, for younger buyers, the Alberton suburbs of Brackenhurst and Brackendowns are an even better bet, van Tonder says, as there are many three bedroom townhouses available here at prices from around R850 000 – and solid three and four bedroom homes with large gardens that are selling rapidly at the moment at prices from around R1,3 million to R1,6 million.

“In addition, Alberton has many attractions, including a well-run municipality, minimal traffic congestion, a wide variety of shopping and entertainment venues, good medical facilities and a number of highly-rated primary and high schools”.

“Brackendowns and Brackenhurst are also, of course, within easy reach of the thriving Alrode industrial area, which is home to a number of high-profile manufacturing companies, and offer easy accessibility to the freeway system for those working in other parts of Gauteng.”

“At the other end of the financial scale”, he says, “the suburb of Meyersdal is increasingly sought-after for its upmarket lifestyle estates such as the Meyersdal Nature Estate where stand prices start at around the R2 million mark and the adjacent Meyersdal Eco Estate, where the maximum home listing price has reached almost R50 million – and where we are currently marketing several luxury four and five-bedroom homes at prices ranging from R7 million to R25 million.”

One of the strong attractions of these estates, he says, is low density. In the Meyersdal Eco Estate, for example, only 15% of the estate is being developed and residents enjoy large stands with an average size of 2000 sqm. The remaining portion of the estate is reserved for natural vegetation, wildlife and 14 species of free-roaming game. The three dams on the estate have been stocked with indigenous fish species and to date almost 100 bird species have been recorded.

“The communal facilities on the estate include a clubhouse with a pub/lounge and a large function hall with terrace; 16km of a mountain bike track; a 7km hiking trail; squash and tennis courts; a campsite and two game-viewing decks. And the excellent security provisions – including a state-of-the-art control room, perimeter fence cameras, controlled access and regular patrols – provide peace of mind about personal safety.”

And finally, for those in the know, van Tonder says, the Alberante estate, originally one of the first extensions of Alberton, offers gracious family homes on very large stands that are also close to good primary and high schools, as well as the Reading golf course. Prices here generally range from R2,3 million to just under R4 million, and also available are homes that have been extensively modernised and upgraded, at prices from around R4,5 million to around R7,5 million.