South Africa has come a long way since 1994. And so has its property landscape. While the last 22 years have seen the rise of swanky, state-of-the-art suburbs, it's also brought the beautiful (and much-needed) rejuvenation and urbanisation of key “retro” neighbourhoods.
Today, these are the suburbs that most young, first time buyers – as well as second, third or, even, fourth time buyers – are choosing to call home. The property prices are still reasonable, the homes are more often than not bigger than their modern counterparts and the area have become a firm favourite amongst the cool kids.
So, if you’re thinking about buying, take a look at our top olden-day neighbourhoods that have become South Africa’s new property hot spots.
Founded in 1853, this one-time farmers village soon expanded to become the coveted home of the University of Witwatersrand, the City of Johannesburg’s local government office and the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Sadly, urban decay from Johannesburg’s inner city began infiltrating Braamfontein and, by the early 2000s, many corporate and tertiary institutions had abandoned the area for more favourable conditions in the north of Gauteng.
An art restoration
In 2002, backing by private investors and the government slowly enabled Braamfontein to make a serious comeback. “The rejuvenation brought with it business blocks, student accommodation, retail outlets, education establishments, theatres, hotels and a Gautrain station – making it a sought after place for young professionals (especially the young ‘Born-Free’ generation) who revel in diverse cultures and the local art scene,” says Henry Bamgbose, a Rawson Property Group agent in Braamfontein.
A sought-after suburb for…
Braamfontein is perfectly suited for professionals, students and young families who love the urban life with a side of suburban. “Think: city (apartment) living where shops, restaurants, weekend markets, art galleries and theatres are within walking distance. The striking Nelson Mandela and Queen Elizabeth bridges also give Braamfontein dwellers quick access to the arty Newtown and Johannesburg’s Central Business District; while the recent Gautrain station makes getting to the wealthy suburbs of Westcliff, Parktown, Emmerentia and Greenside even easier to access,” explains Bamgbose.
More so, property is still relatively affordable with apartments ranging between R480 000 to R1 000 000 on average. And, if the last 10 years is anything to go by, those who invest here are set to see a healthy return on their investment over the next few years. “There are plans for many more new multinational companies to set up shop here; add to this the efficient transportation system, and the proximity of universities and colleges, retail stores, museums and banks, Braamfontein has become a secure and economically viable area to buy into.”
For more information on properties in Braamfontein, contact Henry Bamgbose on 084 527 3990 email@example.com.
NORTH BEACH, DURBAN
Situated along Durban’s Golden Mile, North Beach has established itself over the years as the home of street culture, where young and old would gravitate for the perfect surfing, body boarding and skateboarding conditions. Unfortunately, by the early 2000s, due to a lack of maintenance and financial backing, the area had lost some of its allure with many of its main beaches becoming no-go areas.
A lifestyle revival
Luckily not all hope was lost, as North Beach received vital funding in 2007/2008 to undergo a massive revamp prior to the 2010 Soccer World Cup. “The rejuvenation saw a plethora of restaurants and other entertainment facilities establishing itself along the Golden Mile, and today the beachfront comes alive daily with cyclists, joggers, walkers, skateboarders, surfers and foodies,” explains Mahomed Jooma, a Rawson Property Group agent in North Beach. He adds that the rejuvenation project is on-going and maintenance work takes place regularly. “It’s also well-policed, allowing residents and tourists feel save and secure – all of which adds to the attraction to North Beach nowadays.”
A sought-after suburb for…
North Beach really epitomises the tropical lifestyle where city slickers come to escape from the rat race. “So, it’s only natural that we’re seeing a trend of investors who are essentially holidaymakers from outside of Durban – specifically from Gauteng. They tend to be businessmen and women, aged between 36 and 49 years old, who have found it to be more cost effective to invest in a lock-up-and-go apartment for their family holiday destination,” says Jooma. He adds that the number of local buyers is also high, with many choosing to live the tropical lifestyle all year round, while others buy to rent out to holidaymakers.
“The transformation in the North Beach landscape has had a significantly positive impact on the property market,” says Jooma. “I’ve seen some record breaking property prices over the last few years, but overall – keeping the location and lifestyle in mind – it’s still affordable. The key is to invest sooner rather than later as the area is experiencing positive growth, and return on investment is bound to keep increasing.”
For more information on properties in North Beach, contact Mahomed Jooma on 083 626 7785 firstname.lastname@example.org.
WOODSTOCK, CAPE TOWN
Located just outside Cape Town’s Central Business District, Woodstock is one of the city’s oldest suburbs. It was also one of the few communities that remained integrated during the Apartheid era. Yet, over the years, Woodstock became increasingly industrial of nature where litter, crime and drugs problems added to the area’s decay.
An urban renewal
While Woodstock started experiencing rejuvenation soon after South Africa became a democracy, it wasn’t until the last couple of years that the area started seeing true transformation. “What makes Woodstock so sought-after is that it has a olden-day look meets modern, 21st century feel,” says Leon Lombard, a Rawson Property Group agent in Woodstock. “There’s an abundance of affordable and charming Victorian semi-detached homes which are complimented by trendy restaurants and coffee shops, furniture stores, fashion outlets and innovative businesses.” Lombard adds that the proximity to Cape Town’s city centre, the good public transport and the diversity of cultures makes Woodstock even more attractive with young people.
A sought-after suburb for…
Woodstock has become sought-after by millennial couples and young families who yearn for city-life without all the noise and craziness, and with a little more space. “It's also established itself firmly amongst Cape Town’s foodie and lifestyle trendsetters with some of the world’s top restaurants, such as Test Kitchen and Pot Luck Club, coffee artisans like Rosetta Roastery, and fashion and homeware crafters that call the area home,” Lombard explains. Even more appealing is that these hot spots are all within easy walking distance around the neighbourhood.
The real attraction, however, is the property prices. “While we’ve seen a steady incline in property prices over the last 12 months, it still leans favourably to those who want to enter the property market for the first time. Woodstock is also gaining traction with developers and investors – meaning that the neighbourhood is not only set to grow significantly in character over the next few years, but will also provide a solid return on investment.”