Sectional title roads lead to Midrand

Category Property market overview

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.

Situated in the central part of Gauteng, Midrand (previously known as Halfway House), was long seen as a small oasis halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, where motorists stopped for refreshments. Developments over the past few years have radically challenged this view and, when it comes to property trends going into 2016 and beyond, Midrand has become a key growth point.

Today more and more businesses are moving their base of operations from the Johannesburg CBD into either Sandton or Midrand. From Vodacom, BMW the South African Mint, Siemens and Cell C, all call the area home, providing jobs to thousands of South Africans, many of whom opt to purchase in the area.

A further strong indicator of the growth taking place in Midrand is the fact that the 131 000m Mall of Africa (the largest single-phase shopping mall on the continent) is opening in the suburb in April 2016. Once the Mall of Africa opens the area will also be inundated with visitors from nearby towns and cities. Another move that will almost certainly impact positively on Midrand is 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.

When referring to Midrand one is essentially talking about a common term used to denote the suburbs around the Ni highway, which include Country View, Carlswald, Crowthorne, Glen Austin, Halfway House, Halfway Gardens, Vorna Valley, Noordwyk and Randjesfontein.

At present a number of sectional title developments have sprung up in these areas 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.

Leapfrog Property 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.

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. Reports indicate that phase two of the project will see an injection of R50-billion which will fund primary and high schools, a medical centre, two top-tier shopping precincts, a business park, a retirement home and even a private bus service. As the development effectively links Dainfem, Fourways and Midrand, it's sure to be hugely popular with both Sandtonites and Pretorians.

Getting around

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.

Access to the Basics

There are several schools in Midrand, including the Beaulieu College, Redhill, Reddam, the Beaulieu Preparatory School and the Summerhill International College, to name a few In terms of healthcare, Midrand is home to the Netcare Waterfall City and Life Carstenhof Clinic. A variety of shopping centres such as Carlwald and San Ridge have anchor tenants like Woolworths, Pick n Pay and Dischem.

The area also has fairly easy access to schools and facilities in both Pretoria and Johannesburg. Given what's happened in Midrand over the last 10 years, and what seems to be clear indicators of future growth, Midrand has become the blueprint for metropolitan development in South Africa; work, play and stay is all there.

In fact, Midrand ticks a number of important boxes, including a number of respected companies to work for, a decent (albeit imperfect) transport network and easy access to other economic hubs, and it also caters to a broad spectrum of property buyers in terms of both the type and the price of properties available. It's clear that Midrand is set to play an increasingly pivotal role, not just in commerce, but also in terms of the residential property market.

Article appeared in Leadership magazine

Author: Leapfrog Property Group in Leadership magazine

Submitted 10 Jan 16 / Views 2547