Residential property growth in Gauteng has been lacklustre at best over the past two years, with prices for existing properties achieving little to no growth (once adjusted for inflation).
However, a sector which appears to be bucking this trend is the sectional title market (within the R350 000 to R850 000 range), where developers struggle to keep up with demand. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Midrand.
Over the past few years Midrand has become a key growth point with more and more businesses like Vodacom, BMW and the South African Mint moving their base of operations from the Johannesburg CBD into either Sandton or Midrand.
A further strong indicator of the growth taking place the area is the fact that the 131 000m2 Mall of Africa (the largest single-phase shopping mall on the continent) is opening in Midrand in April 2016. Once the Mall of Africa opens the vicinity will also be inundated with visitors from nearby towns and cities.
Add to this the fact that Porsche has purchased the iconic Kyalami Race Track—and the motor giant has big plans to upgrade and develop it.
Naturally the Gautrain has also done much to open the area up, not only to business, but to residential property buyers as well, as it’s now far simpler to live in Midrand and commute via the train to either Johannesburg or Pretoria (without sitting in traffic or incurring SANRAL toll fees).
A Place to Call Home
“Over the past decade both Johannesburg and Pretoria have seen massive influxes of people, while dealing with an increasing shortage of available land for development; as such more and more buyers are looking further afield to areas like Ruimsig and Midrand. The town council estimates that at this point around 600 people move to Midrand per month”, says Bruce Swain, MD of Leapfrog Property Group.
A number of sectional title developments have sprung up in Midrand suburbs including Country View, Carlswald, Crowthorne, Glen Austin, Halfway House, Halfway Gardens, Vorna Valley, Noordwyk and Randjesfontein with average sales prices ranging between R550 000 and R850 000.
Properties with asking prices of less than R550 000 are being snapped up as soon as they become available, with demand far exceeding supply. This is in part because the Midrand property market is also being fed by the nearby Thembisa Township, with first time buyers who see Midrand as an attractive lifestyle option, and those wanting to be closer to work making the move to Midrand.
“Our agents are reporting that the demand in this price range is high and seems to be unaffected by fears of a recession or expectations of a rise in interest rates—largely due to Midrand’s centrality and affordable pricing. Around 30% to 35% of residential purchases in this market are also being bought as long-term investments”, explains Swain.
On the complete other end of the market, Douw Stein is developing the Stein City Parkland Residence—a state-of-the-art estate—in Midrand. At 2 000 acres, this is the largest parkland project in South Africa and includes a Nicklaus Design golf course and 10 000 residential properties that are for sale.
The village is going to be comprised of apartments, cluster homes and freestanding properties, with rental options also available. As the development effectively links Dainfem, Fourways and Midrand, it’s sure to be hugely popular with both Sandtonites and Pretorians.
Midrand is aptly named as it is equi-distant from Pretoria and Johannesburg and is easily accessible from both the East and West Rand, with agents indicating that people from as far afield as the Vaal Triangle are looking to purchase in the area. The area also has easy access to both OR Tambo and Lanseria airports.
That being said, those commuting by car between Midrand, Johannesburg and Pretoria are still in for rush hour traffic and, while the main roads have recently been serviced, a number of the smaller (secondary) roads in the area are taking strain, but they are presently being upgraded.
“Given what’s happened in Midrand over the last 10 years, and what seems to be clear indicators of future growth, it has become the blueprint for metropolitan development in South Africa; work, play and stay is all there”, says Swain.