Illovo - Weathering the Storm

Private Property South Africa

Despite a depressed property market and jittery global economy, some pockets of South Africa’s property market are faring well, Illovo in Sandton being just one such area.

A well established, diminutive suburb characterised by an ever upward growing residential skyline, Illovo continues to attract buyers seeking an upmarket address says Graham Bouwer of REMAX Central which services the area. One of the primary drivers behind Illovo’s appeal is its central location within close proximity of the Sandton CBD, Rosebank, Hyde Park and Rivonia.

Bouwer says this aspect appeals greatly to young, up-and-coming professionals who increasingly seek quality accommodation close to their place of work thus eliminating the daily hassle of commuting. The introduction of a Gautrain terminal practically on Illovo’s doorstep further bolsters this aspect. The continental, cosmopolitan feel of Illovo itself is another draw card in its own right as are the upmarket retail centres which attract shoppers from far and wide.

Besides Sandton which is undergoing an extensive overhaul, residents can indulge their retail whims at Thrupps Shopping Centre - famous for its international deli and boutique shops - Birdhaven Shopping Centre, Park Gallery and Sandhurst. There’s no lack of first class schools and clinics either. Saint David’s and Hyde Park High School lie within close reach as does the Rosewood Day Clinic and Sandton Oncology Centre.

The nature of Illovo’s property market also has much to do with its appeal says Bouwer. Illovo is one of Johannesburg’s older suburbs. Accordingly, it offers a variety of old and new property ranging from old, well maintained freestanding homes to contemporary new clusters and sectional title properties. The price range varies greatly too starting at R3m and topping out around the R20m mark.

According to Bouwer, Illovo’s established freehold properties typically feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms a garage and pool and sell for between R4m and R7m. The uber chic penthouses and apartments of the area range in size from open plan studio models to “palatial” three bedroom properties. The latter are the “big earners” of the area says Bouwer with prices starting at R6.8m on average.

“The fact that Illovo only has a few hundred properties is also underpinning demand. In other words, when stock does become available it usually gets snapped up fairly quickly, especially if it’s well priced.”

And Illovo property prices have come off the boil somewhat lately says Bouwer. Owners seeking to sell their property quickly have realised the importance of pricing correctly and are acting accordingly, providing both bargain hunters and fence sitters the perfect opportunity to own property in this much sought after area.

To date, according to the latest Lightstone report on the area, 35 freehold properties have been sold in Illovo alongside six sectional title properties. Combined, the total value of these sales amounts to over R71m. According to the same report, Illovo ranks eighth in the municipal freehold rankings after Melrose and 20th on the national freehold scale.

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