Village living in the city
Although location remains a key factor when choosing where to purchase property, a desirable address coupled with a sustainable lifestyle is a key priority for many buyers, say Richard Smith and Jason Shaw, Pam Golding Properties area managers in Johannesburg North.
“Well-functioning residential neighbourhoods provide opportunities for residents to live close to existing amenities and places of work, or equally important, if they work from home,” says Smith.
“In Johannesburg, while many established suburbs tick the boxes for buyers in terms of location and price – finding ones that offer community lifestyle living is rare – as properties in these areas are often snapped up upon listing.”
Says Shaw: “To escape and unwind after a long day at work, whether this be at a place of employment or a work-from-home office, buyers are now considering what a particular suburb offers in terms of lifestyle.
“While many may still opt for high density living, those seeking village-type living and greater access to open spaces and more generously proportioned homes are happy to put down roots in some of Johannesburg North’s established and low-density suburbs.”
Pam Golding Properties has identified six suburbs that offer buyers the trendy lifestyle that is sought after. These include Craighall Park, Norwood and ‘The Parks’ suburbs which include Parktown North, Parkwood, Parkview and Parkhurst.
Says Smith: “Conveniently located close to Johannesburg, Rosebank and Sandton CBDs, these suburbs have a strong sense of community and village-type feel, and offer good value-for-money homes.
“These established suburbs are characterised by the fact that they are family-oriented, offering secure environments, beautiful picturesque homes and well-maintained gardens. There are pedestrian walkways, fast internet connectivity and access to various amenities including entertainment and health facilities and shopping centres as well as excellent schools.
Adds Shaw: “Over a 10-year period, these suburbs have seen steady growth in prices, making them sound investments. Residents in these areas are much more connected and happier, as they enjoy quality of life as a result of where they stay.” Below are Johannesburg North’s lifestyle neighbourhoods and what they offer their residents.
The centrally located suburb of Craighall Park appeals to buyers as ticks all the boxes, being family-oriented with a number of amenities located in and around the area.
Its village-feel attracts family buyers looking for a secure environment with popular attractions such as Delta Park – one of the largest parks in Johannesburg the Ranger Stables, the Colourful Splendour Nursery and the REEA Foundation – an urban farm, and a registered Section 21 non-profit organisation focused on maintaining a residential care facility for adults living with epilepsy and associated illness.
Craighall Park offers sectional title apartments and freestanding properties with median prices of R1.5 million and R3.35 million respectively.
Homes here are set on large stands between 1 000 and 2 000sqm with gardens and possibly a swimming pool, while others offer additional space for a cottage, office, and/or staff accommodation.
This established suburb offers homes with different architectural styles ranging from golden oldies to modern contemporary, with some beautiful heritage properties. Purchasers have opportunities to buy and renovate or subdivide in order to build their own homes.
The suburb is home to a number of restaurants which are mostly child-friendly such as AJ’s in the Park, Cnr Café, Delta Café and Don Quixote, with a number of shopping centres within easy driving distance.
For those with children, schools in and around the area include Craiglands Remedial School, Craighall Primary School, Fleming Pre-Primary, Hyde Park High School, Jan Celliers Laerskool en Pre-Primêr, Parkhurst Primary School, Parktown Girls High, Parkview Senior School, Parkview Junior School, Rosebank Primary School, Rutland Playschool and Pre-school, Sheilagh’s Place Nursery School and St Teresa’s School.
- Consists of 1 806 homes, of which 4.3% are in estates and 61% are freehold.
- Prices range from R3 million and can exceed R6.5 million in some instances.
The cosmopolitan feel of Norwood attracts buyers looking for a centrally located and secure lifestyle environment in the city. The combination of Norwood Police Station and CAP Security contributes to an environment where residents can safely enjoy outdoor activities such as cycling, walking and running.
Norwood is an established area which offers old and modern-type homes from sectional title units to freestanding homes – with many of its homes built in the 1920s to 1930s.
Buyers are attracted to the suburb’s value-for-money homes with Lightstone data reflecting a median price of R1.7 million for freehold properties sold during the year to date. Young adults accounted for 30% of recent buyers in the suburb, making it a relatively affordable established suburb for first-time buyers.
Norwood is conveniently located close to business hubs with access via major arterial roads, with a number of amenities including medical and beauty facilities and numerous places of worship. For shopping, residents can choose from Norwood Mall located within the suburb with nearby shopping centres such as Sandton City, Killarney Mall, Rosebank, and Melrose Arch. Other area attractions include the Melrose Bird Sanctuary Park, Houghton Golf Club and The Wanderers Club – ideal for entertainment and excursions.
In an around the suburb are some of Johannesburg’s top schools including Hirsch Lyons School, Highlands North Boys High School, King David, King Edward VII School, Maryvale College, Norwood Primary School, St Mary’s School for girls, St John’s College and The Torah Academy Primary and High School.
The suburb is also well-known as Johannesburg’s dining destination as it offers a mix of different cuisines which, along with various shops are located on the suburb’s busy street, Grant Avenue.
- Consists of 931 homes of which 97.2% are freehold.
- Prices range from R1.6 million to R4.2 million for freehold homes, with sectional title units starting from R650 000 for bachelor apartments up to R2.9 million for two and three-bedroom apartments.
The areas fondly referred to as “The Parks” comprise the charming and old established homes of Parktown North, Parkwood, Parkview and Parkhurst, attracting buyers looking for a secure lifestyle in a convenient location.
Of the four suburbs, freehold homes in Parktown North are the most expensive and have shown the strongest performance over the past 10 years recording growth of +55.6%. Parkhurst has remained the most affordable location for freehold homes during this period, with a median price of R2.862 million currently, compared to R4.2 million in Parktown North. The median price for freehold properties in Parkwood and Parkview is R3.45 and R3.15 million respectively, according to Lightstone data.
In addition, stable property owners in The Parks suburbs are predominantly mature (50 – 64 years) and middle-aged (36 – 49 years).
Within these suburbs, homes priced between R3 million and R8 million are seeing the most activity. Properties that are priced right continue to sell well due to demand for this kind of lifestyle.
Many of the properties within these suburbs still have the old original features such as parquet floors and architectural styles of a bygone era. Buyers who love the charm of yesteryear will appreciate this aspect, infused with the modern lifestyle on offer.
These properties provide buyers the opportunity to renovate to suit their own tastes and requirements. Refurbished and modern homes include features such as a double volume entrance hall, which creates a sense of open and large space, and a seamless flow between inside and outside living.
In The Parks, residents enjoy socialising, and they get to choose from an array of trendy restaurants, while popular attractions in the area include the Goodman Gallery for art lovers, as well the Johannesburg Zoo and Zoo Lake, Parkview Library, Parkview Golf Course and the Rosebank Gautrain station. There also a number of antique, boutique and retail stores to choose from, with Rosebank Mall, Hyde Park Corner and Sandton City shopping centres within short driving distance.
Top schools in the area include, Little Ashford Nursery School, Craighall Primary School, Hyde Park High School, Jan Celliers Laerskool en Pre-Primêr, Kingsmead College, King David Primary and High School, Parkhurst Primary School, Parktown Girls High, Parkview Senior School, Pridwin Preparatory School, Parkview Junior School, Rosebank Primary and School St Teresa’s Convent.
One of the oldest northern suburbs of Johannesburg, Parktown North blends various styles of architecture, and many older homes have been renovated to create a modern contemporary feel. The suburb’s family-oriented and village atmosphere appeals to young families, thanks to good schools around the area.
Lightstone data shows that owners tend to hold on to their properties for longer, with 51% of recent buyers being middle-aged (36 – 49 years) followed by young adults (18 – 35 years) accounting for 27% of total buyers in the suburb.
Of “The Parks” suburbs, Parktown North freehold homes are the most expensive, and have shown the strongest performance over the past five and 10 years, recording growth of +0.4% and +55.6% respectively. The 2020 median prices of freehold homes are R4.2 million and R1.61 million for sectional title properties.
- Consists of 1 284 homes of which just 1.1% are situated in estates while 83.4% are freestanding.
- Prices range from R1.1 million to approximately R6 million for sectional title properties (which are scarce), and freehold homes can range from R3.5 million to R9 million.
The established, tranquil and quaint leafy suburb of Parkwood appeals to young families and couples and here, demand for properties exceeds supply.
There are two distinct parts to Parkwood – Upper Parkwood which is wedged between the Johannesburg Zoo and the Rosebank CBD, and Lower Parkwood which borders on Zoo Lake.
The median price of a freehold homes sold during the year to date is R3.45 million, and R1.6 million for sectional title properties. The sales market for freehold homes has remained surprisingly resilient in the face of the sluggish Gauteng housing market, showing the high demand for homes in this suburb.
The suburb offers sectional title apartments, cluster homes and freehold properties. Its attractive architecture is a blend of old and new, featuring some character homes with pressed steel ceilings and wooden floors. It is home to modern commercial buildings such as The Energy Works, the newly renovated Fire Station, as well as the innovative, environmental-friendly Standard Bank building.
- Consists of 1 021 homes, of which 0.7% are located within secure estates and 74.2% of which are limited in number, while freehold homes can range from R3 million to R8 million.
Parkview is a comfortable, charming and family-oriented suburb. Its timelessness and community appeal makes it an exceptionally popular suburbs for buyers, and available stock is never sufficient to meet the demand. This is one of the few suburbs in Johannesburg which has a ‘High Street’ on Tyrone Avenue, and where residents can stroll, cycle and jog along its tree-lined avenues.
At its centre is Zoo Lake, a favourite ambling site for all Johannesburgers, and also home to Artists under the Sun, a well-known art market. In addition, the beautiful plane trees in Dundalk Avenue are part of the original forest plantation of Johannesburg and an impressive attraction.
The suburb offers old and modern sectional title properties in complexes such as Park Manor and Soho Lofts, and cluster homes at Waterford Estate, with the majority of homes being freehold. Parkview is home to many character and heritage homes, some of which have been renovated while still retaining the old feel of yesteryear.
The median price of freestanding properties sold so far this year is R3.15 million and R1.795 million for sectional title properties.
- Consists of 1 043 homes of which 1.8% are in estates and 86.9% are freehold homes.
- Prices range from R1.5 million to R6 million for a limited number of sectional title properties, and from R3 million to R12 million for freehold homes.
Renowned for its café society and eclectic vibe, Parkhurst appeals to young families, singles, professionals, and families who are downscaling, who enjoy a social and active lifestyle.
Parkhurst’s 4th Avenue is the heartbeat of the suburb with a number of trendy restaurants, as well as boutique and furniture stores to choose from. In addition, the 5th Avenue Park enables residents to walk, cycle or jog along the Delta, a green hub, as well as popular Verity Park where owners can freely walk their dogs.
Parkhurst was the first suburb in South Africa to install a fibre network to supply super-fast internet to every home, thereby ensuring a connected community.
The suburb offers beautiful homes on manageable stand sizes of 495sqm, with corner stands measuring 1 000sqm in size while homes located along the spruit have much larger stands of over 2 000sqm. The median price of freehold property is R2.862 million – making Parkhurst the suburb in The Parks with the most affordable freestanding homes over the past decade.
- Consists of 2 015 homes with 0.25% of these located in estates and 99.1% being freehold homes.
Prices range from R2.5 million to R8 million.