Emmarentia Poised to Boom

Private Property South Africa

Emmarentia is shaping up to become a suburb of note. So says Ina Pretorius of RE/MAX Masters which services the area. Situated between Greenside and Linden, Emmarentia is a well-established leafy suburb characterised in the main by large, freehold properties which are now slowly but surely being upgraded by an emerging Muslim community which is gravitating to the area in the wake of the construction of the Masjidur Rahmah mosque.

Other draw cards attracting buyers to the area are Emmarentia Dam, parklands and the Botanical Gardens – all of which act as a vital green lung for Johannesburg. Melville Koppies and Marks Park Cricket Club are also located in the area.

Emmarentia’s park in particular is well loved by residents and visitors from surrounding suburbs alike who often picnic under the trees or bring their dogs for walks. The Botanical Gardens – which were voted Johannesburg’s Best Passive Recreation Space in 2004 - comprise rose gardens, a herb garden, indigenous trees and succulents. Canoe and fishing enthusiasts also make use of the dam on a regular basis.

In terms of retail, educational and medical facilities, Emmarentia’s residents lack for nothing. Good local schools include Greenside High School and Roosevelt High. Residents can make use of the Rosewood Day Clinic, Medicross and Netcare amongst others. Shops include Green Square, The Terrace, the Boulevard and Checkers Shopping Centre where a Halal Wimpy has taken root in response to demand.

According to Pretorius, the bulk of Emmarentia’s freehold properties were built some time ago and thus, are quite generously proportioned. Many are appealing double storey affairs featuring three or four bedrooms, a large kitchen, garden, double garage and pool. Given their proximity to the mosque and the area’s other draw cards, Muslim families have identified the value of investing in, and upgrading Emmarentia’s properties to suit their own needs, confident of a healthy return on their investment in years to come. Indeed, according to Pretorius, some of Emmarentia’s new owners have spared no expense upgrading their new Emmarentia homes. In one instance she says a buyer purchased a five bedroom property for R3, 1 million and spent an additional R1 million upgrading it.

According to Pretorius, Emmarentia’s freehold homes typically sell at between R1, 5 million and R3 million and in some cases, for as much as R4 million. The latest Lightstone report on the area states that 61 freehold properties sold in the area in 2011 for an average price of R2, 1 million. It is interesting to note that the number of properties sold in 2011 are almost on par with the area’s pre-2008 sales figures of 68. The area’s current average sales prices have also clawed their way back up from a 2009 slump average of R1, 7 million.

Remarks Pretorius: “Demand for freehold properties has outstripped supply. Generally speaking houses in Emmarentia don’t stay on the market for long unless they are unrealistically priced which bodes well for the area’s future prospects as it will no doubt ‘boom’ once the property market improves.”

As for Emmarentia’s Sectional Title market, these types of properties are thin on the ground. Indeed, according to Lightstone statistics, this type of property stock comprises a mere 3.9 percent of the local market. The report also states that only one Sectional Title property sold in 2011 for R500 000. Pretorius explains that the few properties of this nature which come onto the market are quickly snapped up.

Akin to the area’s Sectional Title sector, rental properties are also reportedly few and far between. According to Pretorius, a small number of freehold property owners are leasing garden cottages at between R4000 and R8000pm. The few freehold homes that become available for rent are leased at between R15 000 and R30 000pm.

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