Properties that offer ‘walkability’ command a premium

The advent of the Gautrain has seen prices of apartments in the Rosebank area increase by at least 200% since 2010. This is in keeping with a global demand for properties that offer of “walkability” – the ability to get around without a car, says Berry Everitt, CEO of Chas Everitt International property group.

“Areas closest to the stations have also sprouted new shops, offices and recreational facilities,” said Everitt.

This trend is evident all along the Gautrain line. In Hatfield, Pretoria, the price of flats close to the Gautrain terminus has risen by an average of 33% since 2010. “And a the other end of the line in Johannesburg, flats close to the Gautrain terminus at Park Station, Braamfontein, have achieved an average price growth of 59% since 2010,” said Everitt.

“A large percentage of home buyers want to leave their car in the garage most of the time – or even live without a car – and are prepared to pay a premium to do so.”

Walkability offers many benefits, both to residents and neighbourhoods. For starters, taking regular, is a low-impact form of exercise that has been proven to offer great health benefits. Increased pedestrian volumes in a neighbourhood can also improve community safety and social integration. Local businesses also stand to benefit from increased passing foot traffic.