Jozi tops R1m

Posted On Friday, 01 July 2011 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Johannesburg’s inner city appears to be making steady progress in luring upmarket residential buyers into the fold.


CBD is luring more up-market buyers Apartment prices touch new highs.

Johannesburg’s inner city appears to be making steady progress in luring upmarket residential buyers into the fold.

Last month, an apartment of 147m² in the historic headquarters of Barclays Bank at 87 Commissioner Street fetched R1,15m. That’s believed to be the highest price ever paid for an innercity office-to-flat conversion, bar the 226m² shell in nearby Corner House bought in June 2005 for R1,25m by executive Wendy Luhabe, wife of former Gauteng premier Mbhazima Shilowa.

Corner House was the flagship renovation of developer Urban Ocean, founded by Alfonso Botha and Duan Coetzee in 2004. The duo entered the CBD with much fanfare, buying up old office buildings with ambitious plans to turn the inner city into a trendy work, live and play hub. But by early 2008, some of Urban Ocean’s regeneration efforts had stalled, and demand for higherincome housing dried up.

Now the trend appears to be reversing. Jawitz Properties agent Rochelle Johnson, who clinched the R1,15m Commissioner Street sale, says investor interest in the luxury end of the CBD market has reemerged in recent months. The impending opening of the Gautrain station, which will link the CBD to Rosebank and Sandton, as well as the advent of art galleries, restaurants and shops in the area, are attracting more young executives, academics and creatives into the city.

Besides, CBD loft-style developments are far more affordable than their counterparts in Johannesburg’s leafy northern suburbs. Johnson says CBD selling prices average R8000 R10000/m² That compares favourably with the average R38000/m² that buyers are paying for the latest residential phase at mixed-use precinct Melrose Arch near Rosebank, for instance.

Figures from property research portal Lightstone show that the highest price paid in the Johannesburg CBD last year was R800000 for an 89m² unit in an apartment block, The Newtown in Quinn Street, Newtown.

Property group Broll confirms that Jo’burg’s inner city is back on the radars of both residential and commercial investors. Broll broker Keke Khojane says a “huge transformation” is under way in the inner city, including Braamfontein and Newtown, fuelled by a number of new and brownfield developments. Easy access to highways, rail and bus transport is a key selling point.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 19:51

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