In the shadow of Northcliff hill is a little suburb that many people pass by but few remember, Albertville. With two reasonably busy thoroughfares running in parallel through the suburb it is not what you would call a quiet suburb, but for those looking to get a foothold on the property ladder it offers great value for money.
Long Street and Main Street, the two big roads both provide a link between Beyers Naude Drive and Ontdekkers Road and often people making their way from the west to work or play in the north use these roads as a shortcut. Along Long Street there are more than a few antique shops but so far the suburb has resisted any attempt to turn it into another Parkhurst.
The defining landmark of Albertville is, however, not even in the suburb. This is the police flats perched atop the hill overlooking the suburb. Houses in the suburb are typically small with gardens that you wouldn’t keep an Irish wolfhound in, but which are fine for small to medium sized dogs.
The breakdown of recent sellers is probably the most interesting aspect of the statistics on Albertville as each group of sellers (less than 5 years, five to seven years, eight to 10 years and more than 11 years) make up almost equal parts of the recent sellers group. In most other suburbs one group – not always the same group -tends to dominate the recent sellers list. As if to justify the value-for-money nature of the suburb out of the 46 freehold properties sold in the last 12 months, 25 were priced under R400 000 with 19 between R400 000 and R800 000 and only two between R800 000 and R1.5-million.
This is borne out by the average selling price for freehold properties, which was R340 000 in 2011, down from R487 000 in 2010. This volatility seems to indicate a suburb that is in transition and would be less noticeable in higher-value suburbs where the percentage difference would be smaller.
While the suburb ranks alongside Bez Valley and Diepkloof in the municipal valuation stakes, its position close to suburbs such as Northcliff provides better value alongside easy access to good amenities. Although many of the schools close to Albertville cater for the suburbs in the area, and consequently are Afrikaans language schools, schools like Franklin D Roosevelt Primary and Northcliff Primary are within easy driving distance as is Roosevelt Park High School.