Shorter commutes, a lock-up-and-go lifestyle, having everything you need close by – a convenient location with many amenities is central to the ultimate live-work-play lifestyle that appeals to millennials. The connected, trendy hub of Rosebank in Johannesburg is seeing continued rapid growth in response to the demand for compact, affordable properties, with a number of new developments and redevelopments currently underway. Newly launched Saxon Square in Oxford Road, targeted at young professionals, has recorded more than R 70million in sales in just 10 weeks.
Lightstone Property data shows continued strong growth in Rosebank (141.8%) over a 10-year period from 2009 to 2019, with sectional title properties dominating. As all the new developments come to market, the sectional title properties in the area are set to almost double in number.
“The rapid uptake we’ve seen of apartment-style and sectional title developments in Sandton and Rosebank continues to inspire significant investor confidence,” says construction solutions company Profica CEO Tim White. “Sectional title units are very popular among younger buyers due to improved safety and security, affordability and the convenience of a lock-up-and-go residence. Rosebank has a large percentage of new homeowners in the area, as well as strong rental demand. Small units are a major focus in new developments, with renters opting for location and amenities above larger living areas. The location in fact becomes the amenity.”
Property economist at the University of Cape Town’s Urban Real Estate Research Unit (URERU), Professor Francois Viruly, says South Africa is following the growing international trends of high demand for smaller, centrally located properties. “It’s clear that buyers and tenants are willing to trade off space for convenience and a reduction in commuting time. Reduced travel costs resulting from being close to amenities and workplaces can result in considerable savings and indirectly reduce the cost of accommodation.”
Viruly says numerous factors are driving this trend. “Those responding to the Gig Economy often don’t work standard hours, with lines between work and leisure becoming more blurred. Different aspects of your lifestyle must be seamlessly integrated, which is much easier when these are all in close proximity.” URERU research further shows that residential related assets, particularly Private Rented Residential and affordable housing categories, remain firmly in the top 10 assets driving global urban growth in cities in 2021.
Profica is a founding member of the Public Land Development Project housed in URERU which aims to support Public Property Development through research, collaboration and support. The project runs quarterly sessions with public sector property developers across a range a municipalities and SOCs, and is also creating a Public Sector Property Course to launch in September 2021.
“We believe that in Saxon Square, we have defined a product based on the trends that Professor Viruly highlights as well as on broader sector research to provide a highly relevant offering,” says White.
With several successful residential, apartment hotels and co-livingprojects such as Illovo Central , Black Brick Sandton and Capital on the Park in its track record as project managers, Profica is the project manager for Saxon Square. With lead developer Tristar Construction, Saxon Square offers 134 luxury, industrial chic designer studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments with amenities including basement parking, a 24-hour concierge, , café and deli, rooftop garden and pool, a co-working lounge, all managed and driven by technology, with the ease of a mobile app.
Ranging from R899 000 for a studio apartment, to R3.5 million for the luxurious penthouse, with no transfer duty and 100% mortgage finance available, White says Saxon Square is proving ideal for first-time buyers, young professionals, and investors. The projected investment yield of 10% also makes Saxon Square a very appealing buy for astute property investors.
White believes central residential projects designed for young professionals will have enormous potential for some time, especially if we see an economic recovery. “With interest rates at record lows, young buyers are able to enter the property market, investing in lock-up-and-go apartments that suit their lifestyle needs. First-time buyers are snapping up affordable studio and one bedroom units. Other investors including older buyers needing a city base, or those who are downscaling, have the option of larger units, while still benefiting from the lock-up-and-go lifestyle. As our urban spaces continue to develop and cater for the needs of evolving buyers, this trend is here to stay.” Investors are snapping up the apartments as they know that there is no similar product with all the benefits that Saxon Square has, in walking distance to the hub of Rosebank. Saxon Square is based on proven international trends, the City of Johannesburg’s need to densify urban areas and an awesome location!