SA's hottest suburbs

'SA's hottest suburbs' first appeared on on 20 March 2008. It is the third most read 'Property/Hot property' article of the past year.

Leading local marketing insights company Knowledge Factory has released the annual South African Property Transfer Guide (SAPTG) 'Top Ten'. Part of the comprehensive information available to subscribers through the SAPTG portal, the figures specify the top ten suburbs in South Africa in 2007 by highest volume of sales, highest value and highest average value.

Like all the SAPTG information, the 'Top Ten' figures are based on the latest deeds office data. This, together with three other proprietary datasets developed by Knowledge Factory, arms property professionals with an accurate snapshot of annual market activity.

Highest annual volume of sales

In terms of highest annual volume of sales, the Sowetan suburb of Protea Glen was the clear leader in 2007, with a phenomenal 2406 properties changing hands at an average value of R128 861.

The second most active suburb in the country last year was the rapidly growing Cosmo City. Also in Gauteng, it registered 1744 sales at an average value of R109 460. Completing a Gauteng hat-trick for 2007, Karenpark was the next most active suburb, recording 1626 sales with an average value of R339 652.

Protea Glen falls into the 'Bond Battalions' category of ClusterPlus, Knowledge Factory's acclaimed geo-demographic segmentation tool while Karenpark falls into the 'Pram Pushers' category. Both categories are dominated by young families and new parents. As the name suggests, the 'Pram Pushers' suburbs are where South Africa is bursting from its baby-grows and the 'Bond Battalions' are where the young parents are weighed down with the responsibilities of their families, bonds, rates and taxes and the maintenance of the second-hand family car. Cosmo City's placing clearly reflects the tremendous metropolitan growth across South Africa and the sustained, healthy demand for entry-level housing.

Highest annual value of sales

Top honours in this category have been reclaimed by the Gauteng suburb of Bryanston which continued to enjoy plenty of healthy movement throughout the year and generated a total value of more than R 2.079-billion from 1113 sales.

Bryanston falls into the 'Upper Crust' category in ClusterPlus. Properties in this group are large and by far the most expensive in every city. Large houses, sparkling swimming pools and tennis courts in immaculate gardens are typical. The neighbourhoods are normally older, relatively stable, leafy and sparsely populated by mostly mature families or people without dependents.

Second place in 2007 went to the chic Gauteng suburb of Sandown where 729 properties changed hands and generated a total value in excess of R1.6-billion.

Completing another Gauteng top three is Morningside where steadily increasing activity throughout the year culminated in a total value of R1.465-billion from 727 sales.

Both Sandown and Morningside fall into the 'Fashion Café Society' category that is largely populated by hip and happening trendsetters. They work hard, earn big and, sometimes, spend even bigger. Fashion Café Society represents the new wave of residents of older, but trendy suburbs. Properties are relatively small, but the houses and townhouses are recently renovated and immaculate in all their brushed aluminium and wooden floor glory. These neighbourhoods tend to be less stable, reflecting their status as prestigious stepping-stones for young and upwardly mobile families and couples.

Highest annual average value of sales

The more exclusive and expensive suburbs continued to dominate this category throughout 2007 and the suburb with the highest overall average sale value was the Gauteng suburb of Westcliff, with an average sales value of R9.918-million.

Second place was taken by the affluent Cape Town suburb of Llandudno with an average sales value of R8.750-million. It was followed closely by the sought-after Steenberg Golf Course estate in Cape Town's Constantia which claimed third place with an average sales value of R8.297-million.

Predictably, all three of these suburbs also belong to the 'Upper Crust' category and are the habitats of the elite of South African society. Besides living in large, expensive houses with immaculate gardens, the 'Upper Crust' is also a highly educated group, with one in four residents holding a university degree. Household income is, unsurprisingly, also the highest in the land.

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