Areas and Places

Pretoria's residential estates continue to enjoy good property price growth

The properties within Irene Farm Villages are almost exclusively held in freehold. This one has just been placed on the market through Pam Golding Properties for R4.9 million.

Although house price inflation in Gauteng province has slowed in past few months, homes in well-run and well-situated residential and golf estates continue to show impressive growth.

This is according to Pam Golding Properties’ regional executive, Pretoria and Centurion, Retha Schutte, who says there remains a strong demand for properties within a number of popular residential ‘hot spot’ estates across the greater Pretoria region, where property prices are at a premium.

“Higher income earners within the Pretoria region are tending to seek properties which offer a secure lifestyle in leafy surroundings combined with maximum possible convenience,” observes Schutte. “They want to live closer to nature, but at the same time be able to enjoy the conveniences of modern life.”

According to Schutte, it is these kinds of needs and desires that continue to drive ongoing demand for homes in residential estates in areas such as Blue Valley, Midstream, Country Lane and Cornwall, where property investments remain remarkably ‘recession proof’. Situated further south is Irene Farm Villages, which was rated third top performer in the Pretoria region in the 2015 Financial Mail national property survey. Irene Farm Villages has shown a five-year house price appreciation figure (2010-2015) of 158 percent.

“This is a most impressive mid-term capital appreciation, and there are a number of good reasons for it,” notes Schutte. “These include the fact that the estate offers a secure lifestyle, is well situated and run, and residents greatly appreciate its village-type atmosphere of old.

“The net result is that house-proud residents tend to hang on to their properties, and there is ongoing demand for homes in the estate. According to property research company Lightstone, only 22 percent of the properties in the estate have been owned for five years and less, which indicates a high level of stability.”

Pam Golding Properties sales and rental agent, Peter Varrie, who specializes in the area, points out that Irene Farm Villages, which contains a total of 651 properties, almost all of which are held in freehold, is conveniently situated between Pretoria, Midrand, Johannesburg and the OR Tambo International Airport. It also offers residents easy access to a number of major roads and motorways, including the R21 highway.

“While it is situated within the heart of Gauteng, it is decidedly tranquil. Due to a number of carefully managed parks and conservation areas, the estate still has an abundant bird and animal life. Scrub hares, duiker, mongoose and a variety of birds are regularly seen.

“There is an active indigenous tree planting programme that is ensuring the rapid development of woodlands. In addition, the estate has magnificent views of the surrounding countryside and residents are treated to beautiful sunsets,” says Varrie.

According to Varrie, homes in the area fetch between R2.6 million and R6 million; the latter a record price that was achieved by Pam Golding Properties last year (2015). Lightstone places the average valuation of homes in the estate at R3.1 million as at April 2016. Residents are mostly younger to middle-aged professionals, executives and entrepreneurs.

“Irene Farm Villages, which was established 13 years ago, is superbly run by a board that is elected by residents. This is demonstrated by the levy increase for 2016, which was just three percent. The estate has been designed by leading architects and town planners to ensure it remains low-density and residents can enjoy maximum privacy. Building design has been carefully regulated and properties do not have street-front boundaries, which tends to contribute to the creation of the warm village atmosphere that exists within this impressive development.”

“Security is state-of-the-art and includes biometric access control system and mobile patrols. Children are able to play and ride their bikes safely in grassy parks and grow up in a carefree environment. High-speed internet access services are being made available within the estate to ensure that the complete communication needs of residents are met.”

Varrie says that the estate is also situated nearby some outstanding private and public schools, private hospitals, office parks and sport and recreation facilities, including two golf courses. Their shopping and entertainment needs are well catered for, particularly at the village-themed Irene Village Mall. The Irene Village Market is also popular.

“Those who enjoy walking and water-related activities such as boating and angling, take full advantage of the Rietvlei Dam and Nature Reserve, which is a stone’s throw from Irene Farm Villages. Irene itself has a wonderful rural atmosphere and is steeped in history”.

“Not surprisingly, Irene Farm Villages is an highly desirable Gauteng residential address. Given the steady house price growth in, and the popularity of, homes within the estate, properties here by all indications represent a fine long-term investment,” concludes Varrie.