North Riding - The Starter Suburb

Private Property South Africa
Ben Kelly

North Riding used to be a quiet peri-urban suburb with lots of plots and wide open spaces, but as Randburg expanded north of the N1 highway the suburb rapidly transformed from a quiet backwater into the medium density suburb with a predominance of sectional title and estate properties. If you visit North Riding today you can still see the legacy of its peri-urban past, especially when you look at the freehold properties that still have that ‘edge of civilisation’ look about them.

Freehold properties only make up just more than four percent of the total number of properties, with sectional title making up 33 percent of the properties and units in estates making up the largest part of the property pool with 61 percent.

With more than 50 percent of recent buyers under the age of 35 the nature of North Riding as a key suburb in the area for those buying their first properties is highlighted. This is further underlined by the small number of stable owners (less than 10 percent) that have had their properties for 11 years or more.

With the total number of transfers in the last 12 months totaling 254, or around 10 percent of the total properties, it would make sense that most units would trade hands at least once in a ten year period.

While some estates fall into the luxury segment of the market, those in North Riding tend toward the budget segment of the estate market. While the average price for a sectional title property in the past 12 months has been just over R800 000, the average selling price for a unit in an estate has been closer to R1.1 million. No property classified as being in an estate sold for more than R3 million and this indicates that what qualifies as an estate in North Riding is more cluster home than golf estate.

The suburb has undergone a number of changes in the past decade with the development of more shopping centres to serve the growing population including two on Belairs Drive, the road that serves as the main thoroughfare in North Riding. This road has also been recently upgraded, something that was sorely needed as it was beginning to more accurately resemble a giant pothole than a main road.

The suburb provides a great location for those working in the North of Johannesburg with Fourways and Bryanston close by. It is also possible to cut under the highway at Olivedale, thereby avoiding the traffic that congregates around the key Malibongwe and William Nicol intersections in the morning.

Apart from the two shopping centres on Belairs Drive there is also Northgate and the All Saints Centre within easy driving distance. From and education perspective North Riding is not the best positioned suburb. Sharonlea Primary is the only government primary school within easy distance. There are other schools in the area, such as Curro Aurora and Randpark Primary and High School but with the traffic congestion in the area it can sometimes prove tough getting to and from school in the morning.

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