Advice and Opinion

Gauteng’s hidden gems uncovered by young buyers

Estate Agency generic

Germiston is turning out to be one of Gauteng’s best bets for young home buyers and property investors, says Pieter de Vries, the Rawson Property Group’s local franchisee.

With its background as a mining and industrial centre, Germiston has often been overlooked in the past few years as buyers tended to opt for trendier and less gritty locations to the east of Johannesburg such as Edenvale and Bedfordview. Sales have been slow and price increases have been very moderate,” he says.

Indeed, Deeds office states show that house prices have risen by an average of just 21% over the past five years, and that apartment prices have only gone up by an average of 2% in the same period.

However, the relatively low prices here are now proving to be a magnet for a new wave of young buyers, who are also happily discovering the renovation potential in the solid old “mine houses” and “railway cottages” in areas such as Primrose, Primrose South, Primrose Hill, Marlands, Gerdview, Homestead, Fisher’s Hill and Dawn View.

For example,” De Vries says, “four-bedroom homes with generous gardens and double garages available in these areas at prices from R750 000, while a fully-renovated three-bed, two-bath home in Primrose with a pool and double garage is selling for just over R1 million. And the market ceiling here is around R2 million, so there is plenty of scope for Millennial buyers to indulge their fondness for DIY and home improvements.”

He says that couples in their 30s with young families are especially fond of these older homes because of the space they offer indoors and out, as well as the vintage finishes still to be found in many of them such as wooden floors, pressed steel ceilings and stained-glass windows.

But equally important attractions for these buyers include the fact that these long-established suburbs are also extremely well-located in relation to workplaces, arterial transport routes, schools, shops, and public amenities“.

Top schools in Germiston include St Catherine’s Convent, St Benedict’s, Bishop Bavin, Germiston High, and about 20 primary schools. Its northern suburbs are also within easy reach of the most sought-after schools in Bedfordview such as Redham, St Andrews, Saheti and the Jeppe high schools“.

Shopping centres and other easily accessible amenities include the East Rand Mall, Meadowdale Mall, Primrose Pick ‘n Pay, Eastgate, Bedford Centre and Park Meadows Centre, as well as Germiston Lake, the Germiston Golf Club and the 95ha Rondebult Bird Sanctuary.

De Vries says other popular suburbs include Elsburg, where Rawson currently has a range of three-bedroom homes for sale at prices between R650 000 and about R1,2 million, and Lambton, where the prices of large three, four and five-bedroom family homes range from R1,1 million to about R2,2 million, depending on whether the property has been renovated or not.

For first-time buyers, there is also a great choice of modern three-bedroom homes available in the Leondale/ Roodekop area at prices from R650 000 to around R1,1 million, while one-bedroom apartment prices start at R250 000 to R300 000 and two-bedroom apartment prices at about R320 000.”

And then for those who prefer townhouse living, he says, the prices of three-bedroom units with gardens start at around R420 000 – and range all the way up to about R1,6 million, depending on location and condition.

Germiston, which falls into the Ekuruleni metro, is home to the world’s biggest gold refinery, biggest railway junction and busiest civil airport, Rand airport. It is thus no surprise that it also boasts railway workshops and a large industrial area (Wadeville) containing more than 700 manufacturing and engineering businesses.

And on top of that it is close to OR Tambo International and the surrounding aviation-related businesses, so many people are relocating here in order to cut their commute to work – although it is also linked to all the other large commercial and industrial centres in Gauteng via the R24 and the freeway network,” says De Vries.

It is thus no surprise that the property rental market here is very strong – or that we are also seeing increasing interest from buy-to-let investors who are able to make solid returns here, with monthly rentals for two-bedroom flats starting from around R3300.”