Village living in the city

In Joburg, while many established suburbs tick the boxes for buyers in terms of location and price, finding ones that offer a village lifestyle is rare

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lthough a desirable location remains a key factor when choosing to purchase property, coupling this with a sustainable lifestyle is a priority for many buyers.

“While many may still opt for high-density living, those seeking village-type living, greater access to open spaces and more generously proportioned homes, are happy to put down roots in some of Johannesburg North’s established and low-density suburbs,” says Jason Shaw, Pam Golding Properties area manager, Johannesburg North.

Six suburbs that offer buyers this sought-after lifestyle include Craighall Park, Norwood and the so-called “Parks” suburbs. Conveniently located close to the Joburg, Rosebank and Sandton CBDs, these suburbs have a strong sense of community and offer value-for-money homes.

These established suburbs are family-oriented, offering secure environments, picturesque homes and well-maintained gardens. There are pedestrian walkways, fast internet connectivity and access to facilities for recreation, health and shopping as well as excellent schools.

“Over a 10-year period, these suburbs have seen steady growth in prices, making them sound investments. Thanks to the quality of life these areas offer, residents are much more connected and happier,” says Shaw.

Craighall Park

This established suburb offers homes with different architectural styles ranging from beautiful heritage properties to modern contemporary ones. Purchasers have opportunities to buy and renovate or subdivide to build their own homes. Craighall Park offers sectional title apartments and freestanding properties with median prices of R1,5m and R3,35m respectively. Homes are set on large stands between 1,000m2 and 2,000m2 with gardens and possibly a swimming pool, while others offer additional space for a cottage, office, or staff accommodation. The suburb’s village-feel attracts family buyers looking for a secure environment with attractions that include several restaurants and great schools in and around the area. 

Norwood

Centrally located, in Norwood residents can safely enjoy outdoor activities such as cycling, walking and running. With many of its homes built in the 1920s to 1930s, Norwood offers a range of old and modern, including sectional title units and freestanding homes.

Lightstone data reflects a value-for-money suburb attracting first-time buyers, as young adults accounted for 30% of recent buyers with a median price of R1,7m for freehold properties sold during the year to date. 

Attractions include the Melrose Bird Sanctuary Park, Houghton Golf Club and The Wanderers Club – ideal for entertainment and excursions. In an around Norwood are some of Joburg’s top schools. Cosmopolitan Norwood is also well-known as the city’s dining destination as it offers a mix of different cuisines.

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The Parks

The areas fondly referred to as “The Parks” comprise the charming and old established suburbs of Parktown North, Parkwood, Parkview and Parkhurst, attracting buyers looking for a secure lifestyle in a convenient location.

Many of the properties in these suburbs still have original features such as parquet floors. Buyers who love the charm of yesteryear will appreciate this aspect, complemented by the modern lifestyle on offer.  

In The Parks, residents socialise in an array of trendy restaurants, while popular attractions in the area include the Goodman Gallery, the Johannesburg Zoo and Zoo Lake. The Parks offer shopping opportunities galore and there are various top schools in the vicinity.

Parktown North

One of Joburg’s oldest northern suburbs, Parktown North blends various architectural styles. Many older homes have been renovated to create a modern contemporary feel. The suburb’s family-oriented and village atmosphere appeal to young families, thanks to good schools nearby. Lightstone data shows that owners tend to hold on to their properties for longer, with 51% of recent buyers being middle-aged (36 to 49 years old). 

Of the Parks suburbs, Parktown North freehold homes are the most expensive, and have shown the strongest performance over the past five to 10 years. To date, 2020 median prices are R4,2m for freehold homes and R1,61m for sectional title properties.

Parkwood

The tranquil and quaint leafy suburb of Parkwood appeals to young families and couples and here, demand for properties exceeds supply.

There are two distinct parts to Parkwood – Upper Parkwood which is wedged between the Johannesburg Zoo and the Rosebank CBD, and Lower Parkwood which borders Zoo Lake.

The median price of freehold homes sold during the year to date is R3,45m, and for sectional title properties it’s R1,6m. 

The suburb offers sectional title apartments, cluster homes and freehold properties. Contemporary architecture co-exists with character homes boasting pressed steel ceilings and wooden floors.

Parkview

Parkview is a charming family-oriented suburb where residents can stroll, cycle and jog along its tree-lined avenues. Its timelessness and community appeal make it exceptionally popular, and available stock is never sufficient. This is one of the few suburbs in Joburg which has a “High Street” on Tyrone Avenue.

At its centre is Zoo Lake, a favourite place for Joburgers to take walks, and also home to Artists under the Sun, a well-known art market. The beautiful plane trees in Dundalk Avenue are part of the original forest plantation of Joburg and an impressive attraction.

The suburb offers old and modern sectional title properties, and cluster homes at Waterford Estate, with most homes being freehold. Parkview is home to many character and heritage homes, some of which have been renovated while still retaining the feel of yesteryear.

The median price of freestanding properties sold so far this year is R3,15m and that of sectional title properties is R1,795m.

Parkhurst

Renowned for its café society and eclectic vibe, Parkhurst appeals to young families, singles, professionals, and those who are downscaling, who enjoy a social and active lifestyle.

Parkhurst’s 4th Avenue is the heartbeat of the suburb with several trendy restaurants, boutiques and furniture stores to choose from. In addition, the 5th Avenue Park enables residents to walk, cycle or jog along the Delta, a green hub, while in popular Verity Park owners can freely walk their dogs.

Parkhurst was the first suburb in South Africa to install a fibre network to supply super-fast internet to every home, thereby ensuring a connected community.

The suburb offers beautiful homes on manageable stand sizes, while homes located along the spruit have much larger stands of over 2,000m2. The median price of freehold property is R2,862m – making Parkhurst the suburb in The Parks with the most affordable freestanding homes.

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