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13.06.2017, 08:51 offline quote 

For decades, upmarket Bryanston in northern Johannesburg was a quiet haven of smallholdings and expansive homes on large plots spread along leafy, tree-lined streets, but rampant densification in recent years has radically transformed the landscape and pushed the sectional title sector to 43% of residential property in the suburb.
[img]/FetchImage.ashx?uid=179099890[/img]This two bedroom en suite apartment in Bryanston has a covered patio and two parking bays, and is selling for R1.99 million - click here to view.
Carol Bensimon, Sectional Title Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says the Bryanston that existed a decade ago has altered significantly, with smallholdings entirely gone.

“Many of the larger, rambling plots have also been subdivided into smaller stands that have subsequently been developed into cluster complexes and apartments,” says Bensimon.

“This development trend has clearly changed Bryanston’s buyer and residential demographics, and there is now huge demand for sectional title properties that are young investors’ gateway homes into this exclusive market.

She says currently most sought after are the cost-effective and secure, modern, low-maintenance simplexes.

“Young investors seeking these homes mostly comprise first-time buyers and young families getting onto the property ladder,” says Bensimon.
[img]/FetchImage.ashx?uid=179100056[/img]This duplex townhouse is set in a small complex in Bryanston. It has two bedrooms, one bathroom and a private garden, and is on the market for R1.8 million - click here to view.
“Another notable market is long-standing Bryanston residents who’ve become ‘empty nesters’ and want to downsize without leaving the suburb.”

According to Bensimon, the spike in demand for these homes has resulted in a shortage of sale stock.

“These units are already proverbial hens’ teeth, and I can’t see the stock situation improving in the medium term, so when they do hit the market they move quickly, because they’re excellent investment prospects that’ll yield solid short- and long-term returns,” she says.

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says Bryanston’s continued appeal underpinning its stable market is that it has remained an aspirant and desirable suburb, despite the densification that has introduced more accessibly-priced sectional title homes.

“An analysis of Lighstone data for the 12 months ending 30 April this year reveals that the sectional title sector is by far the most active market, accounting for 312 of the 672 repeat sales during this period, while 185 freehold properties changed hands and 175 estate properties were sold,” says Geffen.
[img]/FetchImage.ashx?uid=179100457[/img]This two bedroom, one bathroom top-floor loft apartment has modern finishes. It is selling for R1.35 million - click here to view.
“Interestingly, the sectional title sales were widely spread across all the price bands, with the most sales falling in the R800 000 to R1.5 million bracket at an average sale price of R1.16 million, while the second most active price band was apartments in the R1.5 million to R3 million segment at an average of R1.96 million.”

He says there were 41 sales for less than R800 000 and, although least active, the top end of the market was far from dormant, with 20 sales of properties priced higher than R3 million, realising an average price of R3.6 million.

Geffen says Bryanston’s sectional title market seems to have escaped the knock-on effects of the wallowing national economy and unsettling recent political events that have been slowing property sales in many other areas.

“According to Lightstone, 82 sectional title properties were sold during the final quarter of the 12 months under review, which accounts for 26.2% of the 312 title deed transfers. It’s encouraging that we’ve started 2017 with so much activity in the Bryanston sectional title market, which augers well for the remainder of the year,” he says.
[img]/FetchImage.ashx?uid=179100848[/img]This two bedroom, two bathroom apartment for sale in Bryanston has a covered patio with built-in braai. It is on the market for R1.475 million - click here to view.
“Although the R800 000 to R1.5 million bracket was still the most active segment, the biggest jump in sales volume was seen at the upper end of the market (R3 million-plus), where 14 of the total 12 months’ sales occurred during the last three reporting months.”

In notable contrast, Bryanston’s freehold title sector has not performed as well in 2017 so far. In the last three months of Lightstone’s reporting period from May 2016 to April 2017, only 39 (21%) of the year’s 185 house sales took place in this bracket.

As for who lives in the area, Brent Bensimon, partner Area Specialist, says Bryanston’s residential demographic has undergone a complete evolution in the past 10 years.

“A decade ago, at least half of the residents would have owned their homes for 11 years or longer, having moved in as young families and staying on until the children left home,” says Bensimon.
[img]/FetchImage.ashx?uid=179102569[/img]This three bedroom en suite apartment for sale in Bryanston has a guest cloakroom, lounge/dining room leading to covered patio and garden, and double automated garage. It is on the market for R2.6 million - click here to view.
“The current picture is very different. The number of longstanding homeowners has dropped to around 25%, while 40% of residents purchased their homes less than five years ago.”

Bensimon says there has also been a surge in young and first-time buyers, who account for around 40% of Bryanston’s new investors over the past year.

Bensimon says a spinoff of the robust sectional title sector in such an aspirant suburb is an active rental market, with growing numbers of buy-to-let investors attracted by the realisation of solid returns.

According to Geffen, the area’s prolific growth has also spurred commercial development, as well as upgrades to existing amenities.

“In addition to new developments like the Nicolway Shopping Centre, upgrades to existing shopping facilities include trendy restaurants and cafés and two popular gyms,” says Geffen.
[img]/FetchImage.ashx?uid=179102770[/img]This two bedroom, one bathroom apartment in Bryanston has two carports and a covered balcony. It is selling for R1.279 million - click here to view.
“The Bryanston Country Club with its 18-hole golf course and range of sports facilities remains one of the most popular amenities, and outdoor enthusiasts love the PWC Bike Park and Park Run.”

Bensimon says besides the excellent local facilities and Bryanston’s proximity to the financial hub of Sandton, as well as major arterials, one of its biggest drawcards is the number of first-rate schools in the area.

“If you’re raising a family, Bryanston is definitely where you want to be,” she says.

$1.4bn needed to help S Sudanese refugees this year: UN
Juba - The new American director of the World Food Program called the suffering in South Sudan's famine "deplorable" as he visited the country and called on the government to allow aid groups safe access.
"We want to feed the hungry children and the innocent civilians," David Beasley told The Associated Press before departing Tuesday for the affected area. "If you let us do our job, we'll get it done."
South Sudan's civil war is now into its fourth year, with farming and markets disrupted and food prices soaring. Both violence and harassment have slowed aid efforts.
"Seeing innocent children and families suffer because of this man-made conflict is absolutely deplorable," Beasley said.
His visit came a day after President Salva Kiir again called for a unilateral ceasefire to go into effect immediately. It requires all soldiers to stop attacking rebels. Kiir also promised to release political prisoners, but there was no immediate sign of any deal struck with the opposition.
"This is being done for the purposes of paving the way to invite everyone to participate in the national dialogue" set to start next week, said military spokesperson Colonel Santo Domic Chol.
The United Nations welcomed the prospect of a ceasefire and release of prisoners but stressed the importance of better access for peacekeepers and humanitarian workers.
"The long-term peace and stability in South Sudan can only be achieved through an inclusive political process which is deemed credible by the people of South Sudan," said Daniel Dickinson, spokesperson for the UN mission there.
Beasley said humanitarian funding could run out by October if aid workers can't reach those in need. He called that prospect catastrophic.
The UN's humanitarian appeal for South Sudan calls for $1.6bn to assist 5.8 million people in 2017. It's 46% funded so far.
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