Savvy buyers with access to finance are snapping up sectional title properties in Morningside, thanks to the suburbs’ close location to Sandton CBD and amenities in and around the area.

“There has been an uptick in interest and property sales activity across various price brackets this year compared to the same period last year, with sales and enquiries in Morningside sectional title homes reaffirming the value for money on offer and the desirability of the suburb with properties priced from below R1-million,” says Richard Smith, Pam Golding Properties Hyde Park branch manager.

The Hyde Park office, which covers suburbs in Sandton, Bryanston, The Parks, Houghton and Westcliff, among others, and offers a variety of property types, has performed well in May (2018). “We recorded numerous property sales, including a number of luxury properties priced over R10-million, but with demand and the bulk of transactions being concluded between R1.5-million and R4-million,” says Smith.

According to the latest Pam Golding Properties Index, national house prices are showing early signs of recovery, having recorded year-on-year (y/y) growth of +4.0% for the five months to May 2018. Gauteng recorded house price inflation of 3.2% y/y with prices in Johannesburg rising by 2.7% in the first two months of the year (latest available data) while in Pretoria prices increased by 3.1% over the same period, says Sandra Gordon, Pam Golding Properties research and market analyst.

At a national level, housing market activity slowed in the second quarter as the excitement in the immediate aftermath of the change in political leadership began to fade. However, Gauteng’s housing market remains the most upbeat of all the major regional markets, she says.

“With more affordable housing stock and a recovery in demand from first-time buyers who are feeling the benefits of the improved economic outlook, activity in Gauteng’s housing market looks set to rebound.”

Pam Golding Properties area specialists Palesa Kibiego and Rotondwa Sadiki say buyers are attracted to Morningside because it offers good value for money properties and is in accessible close proximity to Sandton CBD, Bryanston, Rivonia, Riverclub and Parkmore with easy access to the N1, M1 and N3 highways. The Gautrain bus which passes through Morningside is also convenient for commuters using public transport.

There are good public and private schools such as Crawford Sandton, Grayston Preparatory School, Lycee Jules Verne French International School and Redhill School.

“Entry level prices for residential property are accessible, ranging from R950 000 for a studio or one bedroom apartment and up to R1.9-million for a two bedroom and two bathroom apartment.”

They explain that in some older and more established complexes, it is still possible to buy a three bedroom, two bathroom apartment for under R2-million. Buyers and investors looking to buy old apartments to renovate are paying from R1.3-million for two bedroom, two bathroom apartments from 60-90 sqm in size and up to R1.8-million for three bedroom, two bathroom apartments measuring 110 sqm.

Morningside is a predominantly sectional title market with 71.8% of the entire market stock comprising apartments, with 32.3% of the homes located within estates, according to Lightstone data. For 2018 to date, the median price of a sectional title property is R1.55-million with prices having grown by +8.8% over the past five years.

“Buyers in Morningside include first-time buyers, those downscaling to smaller units, young professionals and buy-to-let investors, with many of these purchasers paying cash,” say Kibiego and Sadiki.

“This is because it is currently a buyers’ market, which means purchasers have a good selection of properties to choose from. They are also knowledgeable in regard to property prices, with many using the internet to search for their potential home and compare prices online. However, they still prefer to view a number of properties before making their final purchase decision.

They point out that in the current market, properties that are priced right sell as they attract the right buyers. Prices vary according to where the property is located in Morningside, so those located very close to Sandton tend to be priced slightly higher than those bordering Bryanston and Rivonia.

“Morningside will continue to attract buyers because it offers good value for money in a desirable address with good security and a broad range of amenities in and around the suburb,” they add.

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