Property in Soweto is increasing in value
Although the establishment of Soweto is directly linked to the discovery of gold and the area was often seen as a place where the poorest of the poor lived in, this is no longer the case. Today Soweto has 37 suburbs and there are some truly remarkable property opportunities in many of them. In addition to this there is still a lot of opportunity for development which means that property values in Soweto are continuously on the rise, says Shawn Mackrell, Seeff’s Managing Director for JHB South, Alberton & Soweto. “Soweto is home to around 40% of the total Johannesburg population and the 37 suburbs within Soweto all have different demographics. Increased house prices in Soweto demonstrate an influx of middle class residents and affordable property prices and easy access to the Johannesburg City Centre adds to the desirability to live here”. Mackrell continues that many different and entrepreneurial businesses have taken off in Soweto and have bettered the lifestyle of many residents. This in turn has caused property prices to rise. “A good example of this would be residents who bought properties in Pimville for less than R200 000-00 some 20 years ago and are now selling them for more than R700 000-00. Some homes are even bordering on the million rand price range. Soweto has also become a big tourist attraction and with this property values have increased year-on-year. Completed developments, the upgraded road infrastructure, the Rea Vaya bus system and new commercial infrastructures have all added to making Soweto a place people want to invest in where it was not a desirable address 15 to 18 years ago. Many middle-aged buyers who started off living in Soweto have since left the area to buy property elsewhere, but we are seeing the trend of many of them returning and trying to get back into the property market here. Younger buyers especially are favouring more of the upmarket suburbs like Diepkloof extension 1 and Orlando West where property can cost upwards of R1 million”. Mackrell says the average price range for buyers that are looking to break into the Soweto property market is between R350 000-00 for a two bedroom and one bathroom unit and R600 000-00 for a unit with three bedrooms, two bathroom and a carport. Jabulani Sectional titles schemes offer units with two bedrooms and one bathroom or units with three bedrooms and two bathrooms with carports. This development is showing good returns to investors who purchased units for R350 000-00 off-plan as they are now selling the very same units for R500 000-00. One of the draw cards of this scheme is the proximity to the Jabulani Mall. Diepkloof is an upmarket residential township with many beautiful homes and another example of a township that has seen good steady growth with an average selling price of around R750 000-00. There are also many spectacular homes here with values exceeding well over the million rand mark. For this price you can pick up a house with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two lounges, a dining room, kitchen, two garages and possibly a pool as well. Protea Glen is another suburb on the move, located north of Lenasia and west of Soweto. The suburb was developed in the 1990s for middle class residents. The demand is huge for properties in this suburb and this demand has seen property prices increase. Protea Glen is the only area close to Soweto where there is still vacant land available, but it is being snapped up quickly by property developers. New cluster type homes with facebrick finishes are being built on this vacant land and prices range from R400 000-00 to R600 000-00 for two or three bedroom clusters with one or two bathrooms. The most prominent townships to keep an eye on with regard to property is: · Orlando West due to its proximity to many amenities like Orlando stadium, Vilakazi Street and Orlando Towers. · Pimville due to its close proximity to the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Soweto Campus and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. · Jabulani: Many developments are in the process of being constructed for purchasing and renting options. · Protea Glen: This is the only area that has land available for new development constructions and there are many such new developments popping up. This has caused an influx of younger buyers to the suburb as they want more modern homes and townhouses to stay in.