Greenside - A proverbial melting pot

Private Property South Africa

Over the past few years, the suburb of Greenside in Johannesburg has burgeoned into a melting pot of eclectic properties and restaurants.

Happily, Willem Jan van der Laag, a passionate Pam Golding estate agent who has serviced the area for the better part of four years says that Greenside is becoming ever more popular as the years go by.

According to various reports on the area, Greenside was originally farmland and was owned by the Geldenhuys brothers. It is thought that Greenside’s name is Scottish in origin and refers to the adjacent Parkview Golf Course; a theory which is lent credence by the fact that most of Greenside’s roads are named after famous golf courses or professional golfers.

Greenside borders the suburbs of Emmarentia, Parkview, Parkhurst and Victory Park and has been compared to Parkhurst and Melville thanks in large part to Greenway Road, arguably the suburb’s busiest road. Greenway Road plays host to an eclectic collection of designer and Bohemian style restaurants and cafes which spill out onto the pavements. So popular have these eateries become that Van der Laag says would-be patrons usually need to book in advance.

Property-wise, the latest Lighstone report on the area states that 95% of Greenside’s property market is freehold – much to the chagrin of those seeking trendy sectional title properties in the area says Van der Laag. As such, when sectional title properties do become available, he says they are snapped up at prices ranging from R1, 2m to over R2m. Lightstone statistics place the average price at just over R2m, up from 2010’s average of R1, 9m.

Greenside’s freehold properties also don’t stay on the market for too long says Van der Laag. The bulk of the freehold plots in the area range in size from 1000 to 1, 500sqm’s and feature either beautifully renovated or maintained double storey homes complete with attractively tiled bathrooms and kitchens.

Van der Laag explains that freehold properties featuring garden flats are particularly sought after given the scope for rental income such properties provide says. On average, Van der Laag says Greenside freehold properties are selling at between R2m and R3m with the ‘top earners’ achieving prices in excess of R4m. He adds that a more diverse mix of buyers are finding Greenside properties to their liking, a trend which he attributes in part to the establishment of the Masjid ur Rahmah mosque in nearby Emmarentia. The mosque is reportedly the first to be built in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs and has proved a popular addition to the area. In addition to its successful restaurants and varied property mix, Van der Laag says Greenside is also known for being something of a green oasis. Tree and birdlife are abundant and the area’s nearby parks only add to the suburb’s reputation as being a diverse and colourful node.

And residents don’t lack for excellent schools and top notch retail amenities. Greenside Pre-Primary School, Parkview Senior Primary School, Parkview Primary School, Parktown Girls High School and Greenside High School (which was named Gauteng’s Top Public School in 2007) all lie within close proximity. Shopping centres include Green Square, Northpark, The Cobbles and The Terrace.

Greenside’s many plus points aside, Van der Laag says Greenside is not immune to the effects of the subdued market which currently prevails. “Buyers are still dictating prices to a large extent and local property market activity has tapered off slightly in recent months,” he notes.

“The fact that Greenside’s sellers are still batting to adjust to these conditions and sell their properties at realistic prices doesn’t help matters.” Having said that, Van der Lag says he has seen such dips in the market many times before and is positive about Greenside’s prospects going forward.

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