Burgeoning Demand for Retail in Little Falls

Private Property South Africa

Within a relatively short space of time, the suburb of Little Falls in Roodepoort has become a fairly densely populated area which is catalysing demand for new commercial and retail facilities. So says Gert Els of Clearwater Properties which services the area.

Just over a decade ago, Little Falls and its surrounds were characterised, in the main, by open land punctuated largely by a few large freehold properties and stand-alone shops and offices. For years Hillfox Trade Centre and Northgate Shopping Centre accommodated the area’s retail needs.

Urban sprawl eventually caught up though and the area underwent something of a residential boom prior to 2008 during which time large numbers of Sectional Title properties were constructed alongside a few small estates and new freehold properties. Today, according to Lightstone statistics, approximately 43 percent of Little Falls’ residential property market comprises Sectional Title homes; 38 percent consists of freehold properties and the remaining 17 percent is made up by estates.

Retail and commercial entities followed in the wake of the residential development and staked out their territory accordingly. Indeed, such was the extent of the construction on all fronts that Els says land is now in short supply which is good news for existing homeowners as this will, in all likelihood, bump up demand and property values in the future. Trickle-down demand also permeated nearby Krugersdorp where Silverstar Casino and a number of residential developments took root.

Arguably the most notable retail centre which mushroomed near Little Falls is Clearwater Mall which offers a plethora of big name brand stores, banks and restaurants. The mall was a hit thanks largely to the fact that it met a very real need for upmarket shopping. It was extended on the back of its success in 2011.

And it seems that Little Falls and her sister suburbs have yet to have their thirst for retail outlets quenched. According to Els a new mall is being constructed in nearby Muldersdrift just past Featherbrooke Estate and another one is reportedly going up on Hendrik Potgieter which will include an office segment.

In terms of current residential activity, Els says the area is holding its own and is now generally regarded as an upmarket suburb. The latest Lightstone report on the area lends credence to his comments. In 2010, 68 freehold homes sold for an average price of R1, 2m and 73 Sectional Title properties sold for approximately R564 000 each. In 2011, activity and prices in the area remained comparable to 2010’s performance with 61 freehold properties selling for R1,2 m and 53 Sectional Title properties selling for R573 000.

Says Els: “Little Falls has also become very family-friendly. A well maintained park has been established just opposite The Hub - another shopping centre which features a ‘super’ Spar, Siemanns and Virgin Active gym amongst others. The ever-popular Botanical Gardens lies within close reach as do a number of good public and private educational facilities such as Monash University. Hospitals in the area include Helderkruin Clinic, Constantia Clinic and Mayo Clinic.”

He adds that Black Diamonds are beginning to make an appearance in the suburb and that despite the distance to their places of work in Sandton and Pretoria, many residents still prefer to live in Little Falls and make the commute to these nodes which speaks volumes about how highly they regard the area.

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