In the shadow of the SABC and the Sentech tower lies Auckland Park, one of the classic old suburbs of Johannesburg. With tree-lined streets and classic Johannesburg houses the suburb offers both a central location and larger than average stands for the area. The area has proved popular with academics, given its close proximity to the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Wits as well as those working at the SABC.
The suburb also has the benefit of being close to the nightlife in Melville, which continues to be a thriving entertainment hub. This gives residents the best of both worlds, including an element of quiet Jo’burg suburbs and the busy nightlife. In addition the new Rea Vaya bus route runs along Kingsway Avenue, which bisects the suburb, will make accessing the city centre and Braamfontein much easier when it starts operations.
The majority of the properties in Auckland Park are freehold with only 20 percent in sectional title schemes and most of those are relatively new developments adjoining the Media24 campus. The nature of the suburb as a premium suburb is reinforced by the fact that the profile of new buyers in the suburb is skewed toward the older demographics with more than 30 percent older than 50. Stable owners reflect this trend as well with more than 50 percent of them over 50 years old.
Of the 32 freehold properties sold in the past year one was sold for more than R3-million, seven for between R1.5-million and R3-million and 19 for between R800 000 and R1.5-million, giving an average selling price in 2010 of R1.5-million, dropping to R1.2-million in 2011. Sectional title prices are significantly lower at around the R600 000 mark.
Although the demographics would suggest that a larger percentage of the population would be less concerned with primary and secondary school education, there are a number of strong schools in the area including Macauly House, the Deutsche School, and Auckland Park Preparatory. Access to universities, however, is the real drawcard of the area with UJ within walking distance and Wits just a short bus ride away.
All in all, Auckland Park has a lot going for it, university students provide a ready pool of renters, should that be what is required. Major arterial roads such as Beyers Naude, Empire Road and Ontdekkers Road (although they are not called those when they reach the suburb) are easy to get to and all the amenities that service the university are close by.