Right now the residents of Vorna Valley must be breathing a huge sigh of relief. For what seemed like an eternity they have been subjected to the roadworks that have accompanied the upgrade of the Alandale interchange on the N1 highway between Jo’burg and Pretoria. As of the middle of June 2011 the full interchange is now open and the traffic chaos that has accompanied it should now abate.
Vorna Valley is one of those ‘old’ Midrand suburbs. Not part of the initial Halfway House era of development, but rather one of the first suburbs to be developed as the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria grew together.
Bordering on Allandale Road in the South and Le Roux Avenue in the north it consists mostly of sectional title developments with a heart of freehold properties in the middle of the suburb.
What is most interesting about Vorna Valley is its proximity to the new Waterfall development that will link the north of Johannesburg to Midrand. What has been open veld is gradually making way for a mega-development that will include business, residential and retirement sections. This will probably be a huge relief to most residents of Vorna Valley as the huge stretch of open land was probably a huge security risk.
What does make Vorna Valley unusual is that more than 50% of the recent sellers have owned their properties for less than 5 years. This indicates that there is some level of turnover in the market, but with only 129 of the close on 3000 sectional title units changing hands last year it would indicate that this is an area that people might be using as a stepping-stone to better things. Also with the high (72%) proportion of sectional title units there was probably a proportion of people that bought as an investment and are now selling as times get tough.
The average price in the suburb is relatively low for this kind of area, with sectional title properties averaging just under R500 000 last year and freehold properties averaging just under R1 million. Both of these averages have doubles in the past six years, consistent with most suburbs in Johannesburg. Although the suburb has benefitted from the continued development of Midrand, especially in the Carswald area, many residents will make the trek to Fourways to sample the nightlife.
From an education perspective Vorna Valley is not necessarily the best option with only Midrand Primary and high school in the immediate area. There are private schools such as Summerhill and Sagewood as well as Beaulieu College nearby.
Another plus for Vorna Valley is that once the Gautrain opens its Midrand station in July there will be a feeder bus route running right through the suburb making commuting to Jo’burg, Sandton or Pretoria a breeze.