Things changing for the better in Brooklyn

Although it is over 60 years old, the leafy Pretoria suburb of Brooklyn is probably best described currently as an area “in transition” - fortunately with most of the changes being positive.

Carol Baron, area specialist for Homenet Pretor, says many of the area’s large, well-treed stands are now being sub-divided and re-developed in keeping with the general trend towards lower-maintenance, higher-security living.

“But fortunately the re-development has, for the most part, been tasteful and in keeping with the basic character of the area.

“Typically, we are talking about three or four up-market cluster units on a sub-divided stand, as opposed to the large scale densification which has arguably spoiled some of the other older areas of Pretoria.”

This has a lot to do, she says, with strong ratepayer interest in Brooklyn, “and for that matter, with a caring local authority that has been at pains to give only selective development approvals.

“The result is a suburb that has maintained its essential character as a leafy, quiet enclave, much-loved by the diplomatic community because of its proximity to the Pretoria CBD and Government buildings.

“It is also close to top educational institutions such as Pretoria Boys High and the University of Pretoria, and well-served by infrastructure such as the Brooklyn Mall and Menlyn Park shopping centres.”

Having said all that, however, the area does face some challenges, the most notable of which is over-pricing.

“This is partly a reflection of the high re-development costs of sub-divided stands, but also due to sellers having unrealistic expectations, especially in cases where older homes require renovation and refurbishment.”

Buyers here, says Baron, are discerning and will not over-pay, but are well equipped to judge good value where it is to be found. “Consequently, properties that are correctly priced will sell - and the realisable values are excellent without falling into the over-pricing trap.”

The average price of large, older homes on full stands sold recently has been around R1,2-million, she says, while buyers are prepared to pay around R1,7-million for the new homes on sub-divided stands.

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