New buyers to Hurlingham are opting for the smaller, more modern properties of Hurlingham Manor, Hurlingham ‘proper’s sister neighbourhood. That’s the news from Michael Rabonowitz of Vered Estates who has serviced the area over the past few years.
“Hurlingham ‘proper’ is considered the Grand Old Dame of Johannesburg’s property market,” notes Rabonowitz. “The majority of the homes are generously proportioned and sit astride plots measuring approximately 4000sqm’s.
“While still grand and luxurious, many of these homes are somewhat outdated and in need of refurbishment. This aspect, coupled with the fact that such large properties typically require a lot of ongoing maintenance is somewhat off putting for new buyers, especially in light of the fact that the going price for these properties currently stands at around the R5, 5m mark, sans refurbishment costs.”
Given this scenario, Rabonowitz says young professional buyers in particular are gravitating instead towards Hurlingham Manor properties. Properties in this suburb are much more manageable at sizes of between 800 and 1000sqm’s. Manor homes are also typically much more modern, which eliminates refurbishment costs. These properties also cost less at between R2, 5m and R4m and sell within three months of being placed on the market.
Rabonowitz adds that Hurlingham proper’s well heeled retirees are also beginning to move away from the suburb in favour of downsized properties elsewhere. This is in line with the latest Lightstone report on the area which states that retirees account for just over 36% of those who have recently sold property in the area. In light of this activity, Rabonowitz says developers have started buying Hurlingham properties with a view to subdividing them and building cluster homes. Those that have been finished are fetching handsome prices of around R4m.
“Current market trends aside there will always be buyers who want the large, stately homes and rolling gardens that Hurlingham proper offers. Such buyers will go out of their way to own an address in this area and consider a little refurbishment a small price to pay for the privilege. Moreover, not all of the homes are in need of upgrading. There are a few 2000sqm stands available in the area featuring refurbished homes. However, these are few and far between and are usually snapped up quickly at prices of between R4m and R6m.”
The area also has much to offer residents. Professionals in particular are drawn to Hurlingham due to its proximity to the Sandton CBD. Private schools and nursery schools are plentiful and shopaholics can get their fix at any one of the nearby upmarket retail centres which include Parkmore Mews, Valley Centre, Riverview Centre and Nicolway shopping centre. Medical centres and police stations are also within close reach.
In terms of other Hurlingham property market trends, Rabonowitz says the local rental market is faring well with properties leasing for as much as R40 000pm. Auctions and foreclosures have yet to really occur and cash buyers are increasingly making an appearance.
In closing, Rabonowitz believes that Hurlingham’s sellers would do well to lower their prices ever so slightly and that the area would probably appeal more to buyers if the area was boomed off, thereby decreasing through traffic.