Strik­ing gold in an up­mar­ket sub­urb

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

ALTHOUGH much of SA re­mains firmly locked in the prop­erty mar­ket slow­down, Houghton, home to many wealthy fam­i­lies, is well on the road to re­cov­ery.

Knowl­edge Fac­tory’s SAPTG sta­tis­tics re­veal that 76 prop­er­ties have been trans­ferred in the area over the past 12 months.

This is a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease against 2010 fig­ures that in­di­cate only 29 prop­er­ties were sold dur­ing that year.

This leafy up­mar­ket sub­urb which fea­tures some of the coun­try’s finest res­i­den­tial ar­chi­tec­ture was not al­ways re­garded as an area of choice. The sub­urb owes its ex­is­tence to the dis­cov­ery of gold. Orig­i­nally owned and mined by the Houghton Es­tate and Gold Min­ing Com­pany, the area was not re­garded highly once gold re­serves ran out and prop­erty was re­zoned for res­i­den­tial pur­poses.

Nearby Park­town re­mained the pre­ferred sub­urb for a num­ber of years, to such an ex­tent that although land sales started in 1896, by 1910 only 640 er­ven in Houghton Es­tate had been sold, al­beit mostly in­flu­ence.

The pic­ture started to change in the 1930s when lead­ing ar­chi­tects of the day be­gan de­sign­ing and build­ing large houses in the area. In keep­ing with the strict build­ing codes of the time, houses had to fea­ture roofs of slate, tile or thatch — the use of cor­ru­gated iron, a pre­dom­i­nant fea­ture of many homes of that era, was pro­hib­ited.

The Houghton of to­day is renowned for its ar­chi­tec­ture, in­clud­ing a num­ber of build­ings built in the 1930s that re­flect the modern ar­chi­tec­ture of the time in­spired by the Swiss-born French ar­chi­tect Le Cor­bus­ier.

The area has ex­panded re­cently and now in­cludes a num­ber of clus­ter homes. SAPTG sta­tis­tics show that 42 sec­tional ti­tle homes with a pre­dom­i­nant price band of be­tween R800 000 and R1m have been trans­ferred dur­ing the past 12 months.

An in­di­ca­tion of the de­mand is re­flected in the sales ex­pe­ri­enced by the Ipanema apart­ment de­vel­op­ment, which sold 40 of its 68



of stylish sec­tional units months of the launch.

“Given the soft prop­erty mar­ket, this is a great re­ac­tion among the very tar­get mar­ket we an­tic­i­pated,” says Romey Sechiari, of Kent Gush Prop­er­ties, which is sell­ing the de­vel­op­ment on be­half of the de­vel­op­ers, Bar­row Prop­er­ties and Vu­nani Prop­er­ties.

She says that the prox­im­ity of the Rose­bank Gau­train sta­tion and the de­vel­op­ment of a new Stan­dard Bank cor­po­rate of­fice in the area are among the driv­ers of this suc­cess.

The de­vel­op­ment is sit­u­ated on a prime 4 625m² site ad­ja­cent to the cor­ner of Ox­ford, 11th Av­enue and 8th Street, Lower Houghton. Con­struc­tion work is well un­der way and com­ple­tion is sched­uled for Au­gust next year.

“The buyer mix in­cludes owner-oc­cu­piers and in­vestors who an­tic­i­pate good re­turns from tenants, and cap­i­tal gains on re­sale.

“It ap­peals to young pro­fes­sion­als and small fam­i­lies in par­tic­u­lar. Good pric­ing, great life­style and af­ford­abil­ity are all fac­tors in its favour,” she says.


The fo­cus now is on the ground floor gar­den units, she says.

“As for po­si­tion, the greater Sand­ton/Rose­bank prop­erty mar­ket is vi­brant, spurred on by the re­de­vel­op­ment of the Rose­bank and Sand­ton City shop­ping precincts and of course the Gau­train line con­nect­ing with OR Tambo and Tsh­wane,” says Sechiari.

En­try-level prices for the units start at R1,3m with a choice of de­signs vary­ing from 60m² to 90m², while the rooftop pent­houses with their built-in braais and ter­races are priced up to R2,4m.

A typ­i­cal, spa­cious, two-bed­room, open plan lock-up-and-go unit con­sists of an en­trance area, eat-in kitchen, two well-ap­pointed bath­rooms and a lounge and pa­tio over­look­ing land­scaped grounds.

The pur­chase price in­cludes one or two base­ment park­ing bays and a lock-up stor­age area. Pric­ing: From R1,3m Con­tact: Kent Gush Prop­er­ties Romey Sechiari 082 457 4581 Of­fice 011 465 5362

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