Flats in Sunnyside and Berea have more than doubled in value in five years

Phumza Macanda

Phumza Macanda

Migration and poorly skilled residents hinder the growth of Johannesburg inner city flat prices, despite the opportunities holding sway for property investments and urban improvements, new research has found.

The Trafalgar Inner City Report 2007 released yesterday measured world understandings against South African inner city issues.

The report claimed that Pretoria's residential stability was an element to which Johannesburg aspired, as demonstrated by the comparative average prices of sectional title flats in Berea and Sunnyside.

Five years ago, average Berea flats changed hands for R55000 and Sunnyside flats for R45000 against the current price range of between R133000 and R287000.

The report said Pretoria's core residential public servant population compared to Johannesburg's changing population was a key difference for the lower prices achieved in the country's economic centre.

However, the report also brought into focus certain residential trends, specifically the number of young professionals buying sectional title units created from offices in Braamfontein and the core central business district (CBD).

"These people are attracted by the opportunity to get on the property ladder at prices as low as R140000. The access to transport and work, and the growing entertainment and nightlife developing in these areas are also playing a role," the report said.

Trafalgar chairman Neville Schaefer said these investors and students made up a large portion of the tenants in office-to-residential conversion developments.

"The CBD is becoming the first-choice home suburb for the upwardly-mobile venturing into Johannesburg. It is far less densely populated than Hillbrow, Berea and Yeoville," the report said.

Looking to the future, the report said further conversions would change the face of New Doornfontein, thus driving the urban renewal around Ellis Park ahead of the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament.

The development required a new taxi rank and upgrades to the two railway stations, the report said. - I-Net Bridge