The Soweto residential property market is currently experiencing a boom and the only factor holding it back is a dearth of suitable stock.
So says Lot Ncube, a Soweto area specialist for the Chas Everitt International Glenvista franchise, who notes: “We have a waiting list of investors who want to buy in areas like Pimville, Protea Glen and Diepkloof, but there are simply not enough properties coming on stream to alleviate the pressure and Soweto prices are rising as a result.”
He says existing property owners are “holding on” as they see the value of their homes escalate. “But we are optimistic that more developers will start to appreciate the demand soon and that we will acquire new listings as they bring new projects to market.”
A major buyer contingent at the moment is investors who provide rental accommodation for students at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto campus in Pimville. “The campus was given a facelift recently,” Ncube says “but residences are not provided for all students, leaving an opportunity for investors to grow their rental portfolios.”
Another large proportion of enquiries are from tech-savvy first-time buyers who are responding to online advertising campaigns. They have experienced the transformation of Soweto from dusty township to thriving hub and are now ready to make their first purchase, he says.
A hotspot for these buyers is the area around the state-of-the-art Soweto Theatre, part of the multimillion-rand Jabulani Precinct Development, which offers mixed residential units, including affordable homes. “Young people who are after the arts-and-culture vibe of the area are targeting the sectional title homes in this area and two-bedroom units that were bought in 2012 for around R350 000 are now selling for over R450 000.”
Protea Glen, which offers two- and three-bedroom homes at prices between R469 000 and R539 000 for a freestanding cluster of 48-63 square metres on a stand of about 280 square metres, is also sought-after.
Ncube’s partner Benson Dubula says there is also massive demand in what is known as ‘deep Soweto’, which incorporates older suburbs such as Meadowlands and Dobsonville that are much more accessible from the Johannesburg CBD now thanks to both public transport and road upgrades.