Turffontein is probably best known for its racecourse but this suburb in the south of Johannesburg has a long and storied history. With the racecourse being established in 1887, it remains one of the icons of Johannesburg, even more so when you consider that the city itself was only founded in 1886, making it almost as old as the city. In a city that is renowned for its constantly changing face the fact that the racecourse is still in its original position is a testament to its place in the city’s history.
The suburb itself is never going to be a yuppie haven or a spot for the social elite to be seen, Turfontein has been, and probably always will be, a suburb for the working classes. With a strong Portuguese and Lebanese community and property prices that are very affordable it makes the perfect stepping stone for those starting out on the property ladder.
With the average freehold property coming in at R450 000 this year and the average sectional title just below that at R353 000, it is easy to see why the suburb might be a popular one for those home buyers that want to be close to the city, but have budget limitations.
The suburb does have a larger older population – upwards of 20% - but this does seem to be on the decline with more than 20% of recent sellers coming from the 65 and older group. 80% of recent buyers came from the 18-49 age group, indicating that this is an area more popular with first time home-buyers or those upgrading from other areas.
Of the 68 freehold properties sold in the past 12 months only three fell into the R800 000 – R1.5-million bracket with 36 in the R400 000 – R800 000 bracket and the other 29 below R400 000.
The one area where Turffontein is strong is an almost ideal location for both accessing the CBD of Johannesburg as well as the rest of the southern suburbs. For shopping there is The Glen, just a few minutes away and getting to the northern suburbs is relatively easy because of access to the M2 highway.
There are a number of government schools within easy reach of Turffontein, including Forest High School, Sir John Adamson and The Hill. There are also a number of private schools including St Martin’s and Marist Brother’s College Linmeyer.