Westcliff - History Comes Alive

Private Property South Africa
Ben Kelly

Out of all the Johannesburg suburbs, Westcliff has one of the most storied histories. Along with Parktown it provided the location for the homes of early Johannesburg’s rich and famous and still today is one of the city’s most prestigious suburbs.

With views out over the north of the city and the ability, in certain areas, to hear the lions roaring in the zoo at night. This is not a suburb for those starting out on the property ladder, when you move to Westcliff you have arrived. With an average selling price of just over R7 million in 2011 and over R10 million in 2010, purchasers are not going to be short on cash when they buy in this suburb.

The average municipal valuation for the suburb is just over R8 million, indicating the quality of the properties in the suburb. Because properties at the upper end of the scale vary wildly in price, if not by percentage, but in rand value and because the number of properties coming onto the market is relatively low, only 13 sold in 2010 and 17 in 2011 out of a total freehold stock of 298 properties, the annual average sale price moves up and down dramatically between the years.

Also property sales at this end of the market are more susceptible to market pressures and in 2008 the average selling price was R4.5 million, the same as it was in 2004. Not only does the suburb have some of the best views in Johannesburg, many iconic houses and large stands, but it is also strategically positioned with easy access to the M1 highway but also just a stones’ throw away from the CBD and Rosebank as well as Zoo Lake and Constitution Hill to name but a few landmarks in the immediate vicinity.

Entertainment and shopping are easy to come by from this central location, but the proximity to Rosebank and Killarney as well as the village atmosphere of Parkview and the trendy dining establishments in Greenside makes Westcliff residents spoiled for choice.

Golfers also have their pick of the Killarney, Houghton and Parkview golf clubs which are all within a few minutes drive of the suburb. As is to be expected with suburbs of this nature, the percentage of older residents is much higher than in less affluent areas. Around 30 percent of owners are over 65 and under 35s are almost non-existent when it comes to ownership in the suburb.

In this level of suburb proximity of schools are less of an issue as getting accepted is probably a greater cause of stress than it would be for a lower income owner trying to buy in an area that will get them zoned for a good school. The Ridge, St John’s, Rhodean, Kingsmead and Rosebank Convent are all top private schools close by and there are many more just a short drive away.

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