Fontainebleau, in Randburg, while sharing a name with a commune in Paris, has little else in common with its more glamorous namesake. It does, however, have its own set of charms.
Set between the N1 highway and Republic Road, the suburb is one of contradictions, some of the houses look small and run down, while others appear well maintained and would not be out of place in more upmarket suburbs. Part of the reason for this is the somewhat strange design of the streets in the area, with a mixture of wide boulevards and smaller lanes instead of a uniform street design. This does give the whole suburb a more distinct personality than other areas that could be swapped around without anyone noticing.
Situated halfway between the Randburg CBD and Cresta, Fontainebleau is ideally situated for accessing the northern suburbs as well as the northwest of the city. Houses are more often of the three bedroom, two bathroom and a decent sized garden variety and perfect for the average family and their dogs.
Most of the properties in the suburb are freehold with only 171 out of the 887 properties falling into the sectional title part of the market. Average sale price for last year for freehold properties was R1.2 million, a level which has remained relatively stable for the past four years. Sectional title prices have also remained stable around the R400 000 mark. Turnover in the suburb was relatively slow, with only 40 properties changing hands in the last 12 months.
This is borne out by the high percentage (more than 40 percent) that have owned their properties for 11 years or more. Younger demographics dominated the recent buyer statistics with just under 80 percent of this group under 50 and close on 40 percent under 35.
One of the benefits of Fontainebleau is its proximity to facilities such as Rhema Church and the N1 Highway. From the suburb it is possible to get to the highway as well as get under it on Rabie Road. The Randburg Sportsgrounds are also a stone’s throw away. The suburb has a good Afrikaans primary school in Laerskool Fontainebleau as well as being close to one of the top English speaking public high schools in Johannesburg, Randpark High. Other facilities, such as the Kings School in Robindale, are also within easy reach.