Key drawcards underpin Bedfordview’s market resilience

Long-regarded as the jewel of the east, Bedfordview’s market has weathered the pandemic better than many other areas and this can largely be attributed to three key factors which have buffered it from the worst of the storm.

This is according to Cobus Odendaal, CEO of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Johannesburg and Randburg, who says: “Bedfordview’s established reputation as an upmarket and aspirant suburb along with its diverse property landscape catering to a broad spectrum of buyers from first-time buyers continues to buoy the market.

“Bedfordview has also benefitted from substantial investment in the suburb’s commercial nodes and surrounding industrial areas and the fact many prominent companies have relocated to the area.

“The convenience of living close to work has stimulated all market sectors, including the rental market, as both business owners and employees seek the convenience of shorter commutes, close proximity to OR Tambo Airport, and easy access to the N3 and N12 freeways as well as the Gillooly’s interchange.”

Citing Lightstone data, Odendaal says that although the number of registrations dropped in 2020 due to lockdown restrictions, median house prices continued to grow, increasing from R3.35 million in 2019 to R3.375m in 2020 and again to R3.525m in 2021, reaching a record high of R3.88 million in March this year.

“Their data also clearly evidences the fact that Bedfordview’s broad selection of property options has significantly contributed to its market resilience.

“During the past year ending 31 March, 55 freestanding homes, 87 freehold estate properties, and 105 sectional title units changed hands, with sale prices ranging from around R700 000 to the R10m plus bracket.

“And whilst the lower end of the market has attracted a significant number of first-time buyers, the middle to upper markets have held their own, with 61 of the 87 freehold estate homes and 35 of the 55 freestanding houses selling at an average price of around R5m.”

Having concluded numerous sales in all sectors in recent months, Area Specialist for the group, Charlene Leibman, agrees that the market has fared very well across the board, however, she notes that there is still downward pressure on price, especially at the upper end of the market.

“The most active price band in sought-after areas like Senderwood, St Andrews, and Bedford Park is currently between R3.8m to R4.5m and homes in gated communities with round-the-clock security are most popular with these buyers.

“It remains important for sellers to bear in mind that buyers are well-informed and aware that they are currently spoilt for choice and they, therefore, tend to prioritise value for money which is why it’s critical that properties are priced correctly from the get-go.

“That being said, when a property ticks all the right boxes, investors are still willing to pay top dollar. I recently sold a vacant stand without so much as a blade of grass but in an excellent position for R4.5m and we’re seeing strong demand for homes priced well in excess of R5m.”

Although Bedfordview is still predominantly freehold in most areas, Leibman says that ongoing development in recent years has considerably broadened the property landscape to include townhouse and cluster complexes.

“Generally priced between R1.6m and R2.8m, townhouses are an excellent and accessible option for first-time buyers wanting to get a foot on the ladder of an upscale market and they’re also perfect for young professionals seeking low-maintenance lock-up-and-go convenience without the confines of an apartment.

“There are also stunning cluster homes at the upper end of the market which offer all the space and benefits of a freestanding house but without all the maintenance responsibilities and garden upkeep.”

Leibman adds that townhouses and cluster homes are also currently the best investment properties in the area for two reasons: they are most the popular properties with tenants and they are also the easiest to manage.

Bedfordview’s growth and transformation haven’t only expanded its property offerings, but also the buyer demographic which now includes myriad nationalities and cultures.

“The suburb has become very popular with Greek, Jewish, and Chinese buyers as well as foreign nationals from other African countries but remains highly sought-after with local families because of the three excellent private schools in the area.”

According to Leibman, the most desirable address is Upper Bedfordview which is not only situated furthest away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping centres, with many of the properties boasting spectacular views, it’s also well-situated for the busy access points to the three major highways.

The Neighbourhood, Bedfordview’s largest and most recent development, has also contributed to the suburb’s prestige, says Leibman.

“Situated alongside the Huddle Park Golf Course, it’s an urban oasis of landscaped green spaces and beautiful parks offering buyers a selection of modern homes as well as a unique social, retail and leisure hub called The Square.”

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