School suburbs emerge as sound investments in challenging market
The demand for homes close to good schools has meant that a number of top suburbs have performed well over the last year despite the economic challenges according to the Seeff Property Group.
Proximity to schools has become a top driver of demand in neighbourhoods while rising traffic is adding further demand for homes close to schools. As a result, properties in such prime locations have continued to achieve premiums of around 20%-40% according to Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group.
We have seen a trend of buyers with children migrating to areas with good schools and child-care facilities. While there is year-round demand for homes close to good schools, the demand usually picks up ahead of the new school and varsity year as parents look to get closer to their schools of choice, he says.
Some of the best performing school suburbs include:
Newlands and Rondebosch
Newlands and Rondebosch offer access to 18 top schools including Bishops, Rondebosch Boys, Westerford, SACS, Rustenburg Girls, Sans Souci and Herschel Girls. It is also home to the University of Cape Town (UCT) which attracts high demand for student rentals.
Family houses range from R8m to R12m close to Bishopscourt, otherwise you can find houses for R4m to R8m.
Wynberg and Claremont Upper
Wynberg and Claremont Upper are an excellent choice for family buyers and offer more affordable price points compared to Constantia Upper and Bishopscourt, yet residents enjoy excellent access to the wine farms and Main Road CBD.
Family houses range from R4m to R8m, but can to R10m-plus depending on the location and property
Fresnaye and Camps Bay
Both of these suburbs rank in the top ten in the country and offer access to a choice of schools for family buyers including Herzlia (located in the CBD), Reddam House in Green Point, Camps Bay and Sea Point and a French School (CBD and Sea Point).
Family houses range from R12m to R22m in Fresnaye and Camps Bay.
Higgovale and Oranjezicht
Easy access to Herzlia and the CBD have contributed to the rise in demand for family houses in Higgovale and Oranjezicht which has boosted price growth over the last five years with Higgovale now ranking in the top ten suburbs in the country.
Family houses in the City Bowl range from R5m to R15m on average.
Sunningdale and Parklands
The areas area ideal for families as there are about 20 top schools in the area including private schools such as Parklands College, CBD St John's, Elkanah House, Curro Private School (Parklands North) and the new Rallim.
Family houses close to a top school range from R1.8m to R2.8m.
Paarl and Stellenbosch
Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester boast excellent schools such as Paarl Boys', Paarl Girls', Paarl Gymnasium, La Rochelle and Boland Landbouskool. Paarl is renowned as an incubator for rugby and has produced many Springboks.
Stellenbosch includes the popular Paul Roos (another rugby school) along with a Waldorf School and Rhenish Girls' High as well as Stellenbosch University which boosts demand for student housing.
Family houses in Stellenbosch range from R2.8m to R5.8m to around R14m close to an exclusive school. Paarl ranges from R1.8m to R2.8m on average to around R6m close to a top school.
Waterkloof, Lynnwood and Menlo Park
Pretoria University and Onderstepoort (top veterinary school), the well-known Afrikaans Seuns and Meisies High Schools and many other top schools make popular with family buyers.
Expect to pay R2.8m to R3.2m for a family house in Lynnwood and Menlo Park. Waterkloof and Waterkloof Ridge family houses range from R3.4m to R3.7m.
Woodhill Estate/Mooikloof Equestrian Estate/Silver Lakes Estate
These estates are popular for their close proximity to excellent schools such as Woodhill College, Curro College, Redford House, Laerskool Tygerpoort, Tyger Valley College and Abbotts College.
Expect to pay R4.9m for a family house in Woodhill, around R3.3m in Silver lakes and R6.5m in Mooikloof.
Bryanston, Atholl and Hurlingham
Close proximity to the Sandton CBD and access to top schools such as Crawford, Redhill, St Davids, Roedean, Brescia House, KES (King Edward), St Johns, St. Stithians and the Waldorf School (in Bryanston) make these top family suburbs. They also offer easy access to Wits and UJ as well as Gibbs and Henley Business Schools.
Although family houses range from R2m to R12m, expect to pay upwards of R6m to R20m close to schools depending on the area and property.
The best private schools in KZN are all in the Upper Highway area. These include Kearsney College, St. Marys, Highbury Private, Curro, Thomas More College and Waterfall. There are also multiple new schools in the Waterfall area with Curro Primary and High Schools welcome additions.
Family houses in Hillcrest and Kloof range from R1.5m to R2.45m and in Waterfall from R1.4m to R1.9m.
Wembley and Clarendon (Pietermaritzburg)
These elite northern suburbs offer family homes on large established gardens and monitored neighbourhood security. They are ideally situated to prominent schools such as Hilton College. There are also several pre-schools, creches and schools along the Roberts Road route. The University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN) and the private Varsity College are the two tertiary institutions serving Pietermaritzburg and the surrounds.
Expect to pay around R1.2m-R2.5m for a family house
Rondebosch (Cape Town Southern Suburbs) - walk to Bishops and other top schools from this spacious 5-bed house for R14.95m
Newlands (Cape Town Southern Suburbs) - a 4-bed family house with a separate flatlet/work from home and staff accommodation for R7.9m
Claremont Upper (Cape Town Southern Suburbs) - a large 5-bed family house for R8m
Woodhill (Pretoria East) - a luxury 4-bed family house for R6.99m
Hurlingham (Sandton/Johannesburg) - 4-bed family home for R5.9m
Author: Gina Meintjes