Scratch but a little beneath Sandton’s heavily developed veneer and you’ll find a diminutive, yet unspoilt country gem in the form of Inanda.
Once deemed a far-flung country suburb of little significance, Inanda is now one of Johannesburg’s most sought after suburbs and commands some of the city’s top property prices.
Inanda sprang up around ‘Inanda House’, an old farmhouse complex built on Forest Road which has since been preserved as a national monument. In keeping with the bucolic nature of the area, one acre plots and large country homes mushroomed accordingly.
However, as urban sprawl set in and big business made its exodus from town to Sandton and the surrounding areas, Inanda became a proverbial island in a sea of heavy density residential and commercial development. Luckily, the Sandton South Residents Association recognised the importance of maintaining the integrity of Inanda’s existing character and introduced a moratorium on heavy development. Moreover, the association stipulated that properties can only be subdivided into 1, 428sqm’s portions.
This decision kept the skyscrapers, malls and high density residential complexes at bay and preserved the country-like charm of the neighbourhood. Jayke Meneses of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s, Craighall believes the moratorium was: “quite possibly the best thing that ever happened to Inanda. Thanks to the foresight of the local residents association, the majority of Inanda’s homes still stand astride large plots complete with sweeping gardens. The proximity of Inanda to Sandton’s CBD and other commercial nodes coupled with the fact that most of the homes have been beautifully maintained drove up demand for the area and resulted in property sales of R17m in some instances.”
These values are a far cry from what Inanda properties were fetching a mere seven years ago. According to the latest Lightstone report on the area, the average price of an Inanda property in 2004 stood at R2, 4m. The same report places the current average price at R4, 2m. Interestingly, the few rental properties in the area currently lease for between R25 000 and R65 000pm depending on the size and condition of the property.
Given the moratorium on heavy density development, Inanda has but one sectional title complex, Inanda Park. According to Meneses, Inanda Park was built around the same time as nearby Illovo’s apartments. When one of Inanda Park’s units becomes available they are snapped up for prices ranging between R1, 2 and R3m. But Meneses says Inanda property of any type is hard to come by. The suburb is home to just 246 properties and their owners don’t sell in a hurry. According to the aforementioned Lightstone report, just over 42% of Inanda’s ‘stable owners’ have lived in the area for over 11 years. A mere 27% of owners have lived in the area for less than five years.
“Those who live in Inanda can count themselves very lucky indeed,” remarks Meneses. “Apart from the tree-lined streets, large open spaces and beautiful, luxurious homes, residents can also make use of the local, exclusive Inanda Polo Club which regularly hosts international polo events. A number of excellent schools such as Fairway Primary School, Saint David’s Marist and Hyde Park High School also lie within close reach as do a number of quality medical facilities.”
Meneses adds that the impact of the nearby Gautrain stations has yet to filter through to Inanda but will, in all likelihood, only prove yet another boon for the area in years to come.