Midrand’s robust market flouts current trends

The Midrand property market is as stable a market you could ask for in the prevailing economy, with its burgeoning new area, Waterfall, coming up trumps thanks to its location, top class facilities and excellent lifestyle on offer.

This is according to Grahame Diedericks, manager principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the area, who adds that Lightstone data clearly reflects the strength of Midrand’s current market.

“Despite a year of political and economic turmoil, Midrand experienced growth in 2017, with the median values of sectional title properties, freestanding homes and vacant land increasing by 4.03%, 23.8% and 13.84% respectively.

“The surge in freehold median prices has been underpinned by the growth of the estate sector which has seen average selling prices of existing homes increase by 18.4% during the last three months alone from R1.77 million to R2.1m.”

Contrary to the general trend, the upper end of the market has proven most resilient while the middle market (R3m to R6m) has borne the brunt of the slump.

Diedericks attributes the surge in the R8m plus market to an inflow of investment and cash buyers, particularly in the Waterfall precinct while the mid-market is stagnating somewhat because political and economic uncertainty is causing current owners who would normally be upgrading to stay put for now.

“The rental market has notably increased this year, especially in the entry and middle markets as lower consumer confidence has precipitated a rise in the number of potential new buyers waiting to see how the political climate pans out before investing in residential or commercial properties.”

However, the sales market has remained more stable than most and this is in part also due to the fact that Midrand is home to a very broad spectrum of properties – from apartments priced from R700 000 to luxurious homes in secure gated communities like Steyn City, Parkland Residence and Waterfall, which are nudging the R20 million mark.

Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says: “A key factor contributing to the residential market’s resilience is the ongoing commercial growth in the area, which is attracting a growing number of young, professional first time buyers looking to live near work, as well as investment buyers entering the robust rental market.

“The development of office parks and retail centres and the migration of company headquarters to the area are attracting many new residents who want to live near work and are drawn by the fact that they can get more bang for their buck than in Johannesburg’s more established northern suburbs.

“And, with the upgrade of convenience centres such as Kyalami on Main and Crowthorne Shopping Centre, the development of Kyalami Corner and the ever-expanding Mall of Africa and surrounding Waterfall Centres, Midrand is becoming one of Johannesburg’s shopping and lifestyle hotspots.”

Geffen adds that it’s therefore no surprise that the majority (52%) of all buyers in the past year ending October 31 were aged 35 and younger while 38% were aged 36 to 49 and only 10% were older than 50.

Diedericks concludes: “Midrand residents enjoy a desirable lifestyle with easy access to top class schools and amenities, including the Kyalami Race Track, Kyalami Country Club, equestrian facilities, Virgin Active Gyms, Reddam Private School and Beauleu College.

“There are also walking trails, family parks and sports facilities within the Waterfall Estates as well as outdoor events venues at the surrounding Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and Mall of Africa.”