The once-unobtrusive enclave of Buccleuch was for years overshadowed by its more renowned neighbours across the freeway interchange, but this has changed recently with developer and investor interest, spiking after the introduction of the Gautrain with two stations in close proximity to Buccleuch.
Monde Mhlophe, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Area Specialist in Buccleuch, Kelvin, Marlboro Gardens and Bez Valley says: “Extensive development has completely transformed Buccleuch from conventional suburbia into a vibrant suburb comprising a wide selection of property options that are attracting a much broader buyer demographic”.
“Traditional free-standing houses now account for less than 25% of the eclectic property landscape that includes sectional title units, cluster developments, freehold estate homes and townhouse complexes, many of which offer controlled access and 24-hour security.”
Sectional title homes now make up almost 65% of the properties in Buccleuch and first-time buyers can enter the market for around R500 000 for a starter one bedroom flat, while investors with bigger budgets seeking lock-up-and-go convenience will find options up to R1.3 million to suit their lifestyles.
Cluster homes and townhouses range between R600 000 and R1.7m, depending on the size and finishes of the units as well as the security and facilities offered within the complex.
Mhlophe says that although there are now fewer freestanding houses in Buccleuch, these increasingly rare properties still cater to most budgets, from around R1.5m for an older, unrenovated house to R4.5m for a spacious modern home with at least four bedrooms and a sizeable established garden.
He adds that it is Buccleuch’s increasingly diversity property portfolio has driven the buyer appetite for the suburb and underpinned its market strength during the past year.
“Although the market in this revitalised suburb hasn’t been impervious to the economic downturn and political uncertainty that unceremoniously extinguished the renewed confidence inspired by the property boom of 2014, it has proven more resilient than many other areas of Johannesburg”.
“After a slow start at the beginning of the year when most buyers and sellers sat tight ahead of the local government elections, Buccleuch’s market began to steadily regain its buoyancy toward the end of the second quarter of 2016, albeit slightly slower than expected.”
Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says despite a notable drop in the overall number of sales in Buccleuch since January, Lightstone data for the three months between June and August 2016 reveals there has been positive growth in property values that bodes well for the remainder of the year.
“During the preceding twelve months between July 31 2015 and August 31 this year, 39 sectional title homes changed hands at an average sale price of R991 641 while just seven transactions between June and August 2016 realised an average sale price of R1.1m”.
“Estate home transactions showed a similar pattern with 43 sales during the 12-month period fetching an average of R1.02m while just seven estate properties were sold during the past three months at an average price of R1.23m”.
“Freehold property values saw the highest growth with 39 sales over 12 months fetching an average of R1.86m while just four sales between June and August realised an average price of R2.4m.”
Mhlophe is optimistic that the market will continue its steady upward trajectory in the short term at least as the positive growth seen in the last quarter has given consumers a reprieve in terms of interest rates, which were not raised last the last meeting of the MPC.
Despite slower sales, Mhlophe says that the market remains active, especially the sectional title sector because of its accessible pricing, the cost-saving convenience of low maintenance and increased security.
Almost as sought-after are the slightly pricier cluster homes that offer all the conveniences of apartments but with the additional advantage of outdoor entertainment areas or gardens.
“While the freestanding properties continue to attract a more mature market over the age of 35, the sectional title and cluster homes are attracting younger buyers to the area, including a growing number of young Muslims due to the mosque that was recently built nearby in Gibson Drive.”
An addition to the value Buccleuch offers, its prime central location and easy access to the major arterial roads are key drawcards. There are also several excellent schools nearby and Woodmead Shopping Mall and a business park are just a stone’s throw away.