Observatory has become a haven for buyers who hanker after a gracious lifestyle and want to raise their families in a setting that harks back to the glory days of Johannesburg's inner suburbs, when character homes featured wooden floors and pressed ceilings, and gardens were large, says Chas Everitt International's Observatory specialist, Ron Graham
The suburb's original character has largely been maintained and heritage homes are a strong feature. Subdivision of large stands is virtually non-existent and only two sectional title complexes have been built.
Indeed, says Graham, Observatory property
compares very well with upmarket suburbs such as Houghton
as far as stand sizes are concerned. "Stands here are at least 2000 square metres - but prices are far lower than in comparable suburbs.
Character homes with original features are selling at prices from R1,5 million upwards, while period homes dating from the 1930s that have been updated, modernised or enlarged sell at prices of up to R4 million. And homes with a view in Observatory - Johannesburg's suburb with the highest elevation - sell at a premium."
Younger buyers, especially professionals working in surrounding areas, target homes in the lower price ranges. Not only do such homes represent excellent value, but they also offer great scope to add value through restoration or renovation, says Graham.
The suburb's central location and the many excellent schools in the vicinity are other draw-cards. A large number of Johannesburg’s top private schools are situated in the inner suburbs near Observatory while the international airport is a mere 10 minutes' drive away.
Access to the highways leading to Sandton
is quick and easy, but main routes are far enough away not to disturb the tranquillity of the area.
Graham adds that the family-oriented suburb also boasts a strong culture of community involvement, leading to a more secure lifestyle that is reinforced by the two well-managed boomed areas.