Property buyers looking for a dream home that’s affordable too, should consider the West Rand.
With Johannesburg’s northern suburbs now climbing even further out of the average family’s affordability scale, house hunters are increasingly looking elsewhere to get their foot on the property ladder. One such location is the West Rand, which has recently seen huge growth in demand in suburbs such as Little Falls, Wilgeheuwel and Radiokop.
“There aren’t many other areas where you can buy a home with four bedrooms, two lounges, a TV, entertainment room, kitchen, laundry, pool and lapa, plus a granny flat and huge carport on 1000m2 for R1,2m,” says Liana van Loggerenberg, head of Rawson Property: Roodepoort. Because of these affordable price points, Liana says buyers see these as “stepping stone” properties, where owners can capitalise on the house’s increasing value over a few years before upgrading to more upmarket areas.
Eileen Livesey of Pam Golding Properties has also noted increased demand in the West Rand, particularly in areas such as Constantia Kloof, Allen's Nek, Little Falls, Strubens Valley, Panorama and Radiokop. “Properties most in demand in these areas fall within the price range of R1,5m to R2,5m,” she says.
In addition to its affordability, Rawson Property’s regional manager, David Jacobs, says that the West Rand is becoming popular due to the range of good schools nearby and access to shopping centres like Westgate and the new Cradlestone Mall. The transport network is also extensive. “The N14 highway – currently undergoing a major revamp – is by far the easiest route between the West Rand and the Fourways/Sandton area,” he says.
Eileen agrees, noting the proximity of big businesses as another pull factor. “Major corporates, such as FNB, MTN and Wesbank, are now also situated close by, and, consequently, professionals and executives are looking to find good properties close to their places of work.”
In terms of other specifics in the buying decision, David says that security remains one of the main priority factors with West Rand properties. “Buyers want homes complete with burglar bars, security gates, security lights and an alarm system, at the very least,” he says. The emphasis on security, he says, is a priority for personal safety and for better financial returns in the long term.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhoods, Sunday Times.