Rosebank’s Gautrain station is catalysing renewed interest in the nearby suburb of Dunkeld but high asking prices are putting off would-be buyers to some extent. That’s the news from John Hunt of the Huizemark property group which services the area.
According to Hunt, Dunkeld has been touted as one of the next new hotspots thanks largely to its proximity to the Rosebank Gautrain station and upmarket appeal. “Living within close reach of the Gautrain brings with it a number of benefits,” explains Hunt. “Users can sidestep traffic jams, avoid toll roads and shrug off petrol increases. It also enables them to reach their destinations quickly, safely and comfortably. Johannesburg desperately needed a transport facility of this nature and the various areas surrounding the stations are now very much in vogue as a result.”
However, although positive in many respects, Hunt says there is a flipside to the Gautrain coin in that Dunkeld property prices have reached unrealistic levels. “Three years ago, in anticipation of rocketing demand, Dunkeld owners started trying to sell their homes at prices exceeding R15m. Unsurprisingly these properties didn’t move. The same scenario is still playing out to some extent. Owners are asking less (around R8m on average) but the market still isn’t humouring such prices. The upshot is that these properties sit on the market for about year which is how long it takes for owners to come to terms with the fact that they are asking too much. Once they come to this realisation, they lower their prices and the properties sell. ”
The latest Lightstone report on Dunkeld pays testament to Hunt’s comments. To date, only four freehold properties in Dunkeld have been registered as having being sold in 2011 at a price of around R6,8m on average. What few sectional title properties lie within the suburb’s boundaries (which, according to Lightstone statistics accounts for 15% of Dunkeld’s market) sell for around R4, 6m. To date, two sectional title properties have sold in 2011.
“Of course in the long run the market will catch up to Dunkeld’s prices but for now the property market simply isn’t robust enough and the full effects of the Gautrain have yet to really be felt.”
However the high prices haven’t hamstrung fresh development entirely. According to Hunt, property development company IntaProp has purchased a cluster of properties near Bompas Road and Kent Road in Dunkeld with a view to levelling them and developing what appears to be a high rise residential development. He adds that the same company is looking to repeat the exercise in another corner of Dunkeld near Eastwood Road.
Interestingly, Hunt is increasingly fielding queries for property in the heart of Dunkeld rather than for its fringes. Many potential buyers cite dense development of these areas as their reason for looking inward. It is also becoming increasingly obvious that the area’s corporate rental market will also become very appealing to buy-to-let investors in the future.
Of course there are plenty of other reasons why potential buyers should look into buying property in Dunkeld. The upmarket suburb is one of Johannesburg’s most established and aesthetically appealing and is bordered by Dunkeld West, Hyde Park and Rosebank; well-to-do suburbs all. The properties are opulent, generously proportioned and many sit astride ‘Dunkeld Acres’ measuring 2,800sqm’s on average.
Amenities-wise, Dunkeld lies within close reach of a number of good schools including Saint Martin’s Junior Primary School, Pridwin Preparatory School and Rosebank Mercy Covent. Local shopaholics can get their fix at Dunkeld West Shopping Centre, The Mews, Galleria, Rosebank Shopping Centre and The Firs and the Johannesburg Zoo and Wanderers Stadium are but a stone’s throw away.