Developers Eye Sunset and Northern Acres

Private Property South Africa

The diminutive neighbouring suburbs of Sunset Acres and Northern Acres in Johannesburg have once again caught the eye of developers. So say Diana Dickerson of Remax Central which services the area.

The two suburbs lie within five minutes of the Sandton CBD which is arguably one of Johannesburg’s hottest current development zones. Putting things into perspective, Sandton City recently underwent an overhaul, the area now boasts its own world-class Gautrain station, Benmore Gardens Shopping Centre has been revamped and a number of other residential and commercial projects have been earmarked for the area.

According to Dickerson, Sunset Acres and Northern Acres were originally characterised by large freehold properties. Realising which way the wind was blowing, savvy owners sold their homes a number of years ago to developers who subdivided the plots and constructed spacious, upmarket clusters and Sectional Title properties in their place.

Says Dickerson: “This scenario is perpetuating itself once again. The area’s burgeoning popularity and lack of available land is galvanising developers to find fresh development opportunities. And Sunset and Northern Acres are owners are responding. What few freehold properties remain in these suburbs are being put on the market following which they are quickly snapped up - typically by developers.”

According to the latest Lightstone reports on the areas, both suburbs comprise over 74 percent Sectional Title properties. In Sunset Acres, six freehold properties sold in 2011 at an average price of R3, 3m and 16 Sectional Title properties sold for just under R2m. In Northern Acres, one freehold property sold in 2011 for R3,6m and three Sectional Title properties sold at an average price of R847 000. Dickerson says clusters in Sunset Acres can sell for as much as R7m.

Dickerson says the types of buyers who purchase in the area are typically up-and-coming executives seeking a convenient residence from which they can easily access their places of work in Sandton. Buy-to-let investors looking to capitalise on corporate rentals are also common as are young couples in search of spacious apartments which they can refurbish to their liking.

But there’s more to the two suburbs than mere convenience and locality. Other ‘pros’ working in Sunset and Northern Acres’ favour is the fact that they offer a variety of amenities such as the nearby George Lea Park which offers cricket, football, volleyball and in-door swimming facilities. The Field and Study Park is also a popular venue. Medically, the two suburbs are well catered thanks to Sandton Clinic, Morningside Clinic and a variety of local medical practices which lie within close reach. Quality crèches and schools are also plentiful.

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