Craighall and Craighall Park, two residential suburbs situated adjacent to one another in northern Johannesburg, have been among the best performing local residential property markets in Gauteng region, and homes here represent a sound investment.
This is the view of Pam Golding Properties agent John Ansell, who is a Craighall property specialist. According to Ansell, the residential property market in the area has proved resilient within the context of a listless national economy, and has shown steady house price growth over the last five years.
“There are numerous reasons for the popularity of residential property in Craighall and Craighall Park, or ‘The Craigs’, as they are popularly collectively known, including the fact that they are attractive, well managed by the Craighall and Craighall Park Residents Association [CRA], and offer an incomparable family-friendly lifestyle close to Sandton and every possible convenience,” points out Ansell. “In addition, there is a wonderful sense of community in the area and homes here tend to offer investors good value.”
According to residential property research company Lightstone, the cost of the average freehold home in Craighall, which comprises the majority of properties in the suburb, increased from R2.4 million to R4.5 million between 2012 and 2016. In Craighall Park the median freehold house price has grown by some 48.1 percent since 2011, although there was a slight fall last year from R4.1 million in 2015 to R4 million in 2016.
“The Craigs are a well established leafy suburbs, where residents are able to run, ride bicycles, and walk their dogs. The highly active residents association has paid much attention to the security of the area with security cameras on most street corners and patrols assisting in ensuring the safety of residents,” says Ansell, who has been a resident in the area for more than 30 years.
“The area borders popular Delta Park, which offers scenic walks, horse riding, bird watching, picnicking, as well as a range of other activities, and many residents make maximum use of this attractive landmark and green space”.
“Craighall is, in addition, very centrally situated close to the major arterial roads of Jan Smuts Avenue and William Nicol Road and just a stone’s throw from Sandton and Rosebank, and the Gautrain stations are situated within both of these centres,” he observes.
“Historically, the smaller Craighall area was considered more affluent of the two suburbs, but this has slowly changed over the years and house prices in both are today largely on par. An entry-level freestanding home in the region will cost approximately R3.5 million and the higher end homes are marketed for up to R16 million. A sectional title property may fetch from R2.2 million upwards.”
Ansell says the Craigs are upmarket suburbs that are home to a wide cross section of residents, but homes here are proving particularly popular among affluent younger executive professionals and entrepreneurs with families who are attracted by the sunny and highly convenient lifestyle on offer in the area.
“Many residents come to love the neighbourhood and become very settled here. Some 45 percent of Craighall Park residents have owned their properties for 11 years or more, according to Lightstone. This indicates a high level of stability of property ownership in the region.”
Pam Golding Properties agent Chloe McLullich says among the reasons for the popularity of these suburbs is that they still offer sizable properties in the heart of the northern suburbs. “Despite the densification of the area in recent years, the average size of the properties is still a spacious 1 983 sqm, the so-called ‘Craighall half acre’.”
“The Craigs are a stone’s throw from numerous outstanding schools, which assists in making it highly appealing to parents. Craighall Primary School, Saint Theresa’s School and Damelin Eden High School as well a number of nursery schools are situated within the suburb itself, while the higher learning institutions of Gordon Institute of Business Science and Fashion Design School and Retail Education Institute [LISOF] are just minutes away,” adds McLullich.
“We find that correctly priced residential properties in the area are quickly snapped up. It should be noted, however, that in the current economic climate buyers are looking for maximum value from their purchases, so it is critical for sellers to price their properties correctly, or they are likely sit on the market. With our extensive knowledge and experience of house pricing in the area, we can assist the home owner to obtain their best possible price.”
McLullich points out that in addition to schools, Craighall is situated close to some of the best shopping and entertainment centres in the country including Hyde Park shopping centre, Sandton City, Cresta Shopping Centre and many others. The Colony Shopping Centre, Albans Square, as well as Lancester Centre meet immediate local needs.
“There are, furthermore, numerous fine restaurants within easy reach, and a number of B&Bs in the area, which are well-liked by visiting business people looking for quality accommodation close to Sandton”.
“For the more sporting minded individual, there is the Craighall Bowling Club, which runs an active development programme; a local sports centre that offers a range of activities including tennis, yoga and karate; and the renowned Parkview and Riverclub golf courses are both just minutes away”.
“Residents also have easy access to a number of leading Johannesburg medical facilities including Netcare Rosebank Hospital, and the Morningside and Sandton clinics,” observes Mclullich.
She says that there are a total of some 1 600 residential property stands in the Craigs. The great majority of homes in the two suburbs are held in freehold but there are some sectional title apartments and townhouse complexes in the area.
Close on 60 percent of homes in Craighall Park are held in freehold while nearly 40 percent of properties are owned under a sectional title arrangement, according to Lightstone’s area report. In Craighall, these figures are 54.42 and 32.98 percent respectively. While there are numerous boomed areas within both suburbs, there are few estates within Craighall Park.
“There is an active residential rental market in the area with a number of property owners renting out cottages situated within the grounds of their property, and some investors letting entire homes. A number of homes are rented by multinational corporates providing accommodation for their executives on Sandton’s doorstep, providing sound returns for landlords,” says Mclullich.
“The Craigs offer residents a lifestyle that is difficult to find elsewhere in Gauteng, and are so well positioned that we foresee a great future for the local residential property market with sustained demand for homes in the area,” she concludes.