Where should you invest in property?

Private Property South Africa
The Roosting Venus

More and more, it seems, conversation turns to investment when we gather with friends. And with investment talk come the obvious discussions about investing in property.

Last time we met, I’m not that happy to confess, it wasn’t my pavlova that had our guests licking their lips, but the property investment potential in some areas of the country.

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Where would one invest, if one had a certain sum to spend and no specific requirements of one’s own? Where, in other words, would one get a really good return on investment, if one didn’t have to be in a certain province or in a certain size or type of home?

Many suggestions were brought to the table and of course many of the country’s top suburbs got a mention. Then the point about good schools was brought up. With such a large percentage of the population busy with the task of educating their children wouldn’t a property close to a good school be a winner? Just think what a big plus a reduction in school travelling time would be for many families. Let alone proximity when it comes to all those extra mural and weekend functions.

It certainly is a strong selling point agreed one of the agents at the table – property near good schools will always be sought after no matter where in the country that school is situated – but interestingly there are other strong draw-cards too.

Homes situated close to good shopping centres and recreational areas – such as parks, rivers, dams and the sea also show similar trends, with prices often comparable to prices of homes situated near good schools.

While not everyone can, of course, be near a park or the sea, schools are easier to come by, and a second big plus that influences the prices of homes near schools is often the quality of the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Whether they are expensive schools or not, there is often a stronger feeling of community and unity in such areas, which generally results in more pride being taken in individual properties, better community policing, security measures – such as whatsapp groups, neighbourhood patrols, gated streets and precincts where possible – being formed, general safety and value in the area thus improving.

A sense of community also often encourages interest in the lifestyle and leisure offerings of a neighbourhood, and has people standing up for their views, objecting to building proposals that may devalue their area and making decisions about what businesses may or may not be brought to their area.

All these factors lead to increased property values and generally more desirable neighbourhoods in which to live – places where a greater return on investment can be expected.

The good news too is that for those who are not busy educating children, or choose not to deal with school traffic, with these neighbourhoods being in constant demand, these are areas that get top marks when it comes to buy-to let and long-term investment too.


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