Popular rental spots in Gauteng and how much it costs to live there

 ·26 Jun 2022

Gauteng is home to the largest rental market in the country and according to TPN the rental market now stands at about 48% of all households.

While it is the largest rental market by far and the economic powerhouse, it is still cheaper to rent a home here compared to the Cape and about the same as the Durban area according to the Seeff Property Group.

The average rental for Gauteng is now around R8,379 compared to the Western Cape at R9,399 and KZN at R8,381 based on PayProp data.

The Seeff Group said that while year-on-year rental growth appears to be back in positive territory. While rental rates generally remain under pressure in Gauteng, top-end tenants have paid up to R55,000 per month for a house in Dainfern Valley Estate and R92,700 per month for a luxury penthouse in Park Central in Rosebank; both leases concluded by Seeff Sandton.

Some highlights of the state of the Gauteng rental market include:

Pretoria East now a high-demand rental area

According to PG van der Linde, rentals manager for Seeff Pretoria East, the area includes a choice of suburbs that cater to various price points, from affordable apartments to luxury estates and suburbs which attract business and government executives as well as ambassadorial staff.

For students and young professionals, areas such as Lynnwood and Menlo Park are popular due to the close proximity to schools and University of Pretoria. The area is cosmopolitan with restaurants and eateries and there are many new upmarket developments. Rates start at around R13,000 for sectional title and upwards of R30,000 for full title in the estates and boomed-off areas.

Equestria offers great affordability with sectional title units renting out at between R7,000 to R9,000 per month on average.

Woodhill Golf Estate and other estates average at around R30,000 to R80,000 per month at the top end. Lifestyle and security are important considerations for tenants. Top-end estates are in demand with embassies and businesses for their staff.

Centurion: popular for its easy access

Tiaan Pretorius, manager for Seeff Centurion said the area has an active rental market and rents have remained stable.

Top attractions for the rental market include great schools and amenities and a high volume of security complexes and estates. Rates for apartments range from about R7,000 to R10,000 per month while houses in security estates rent for around R15,000 to R20,000 on average per month.

Sandton, Fourways and Midrand remain prime areas for access to the Sandton and Midrand CBDs.

Rochelle Holland, rentals manager for Seeff Sandton says rental rates have remained fairly stable. While top-end rentals can range to about R195,000 per month for a spectacular high-end estate in Sandhurst, there are many affordable areas for young professionals and families alike.

The highest demand is in the R7,000 to R12,000 per month range. Apartments in areas such as Rosebank and Dunkeld West which offer modern living is priced at around R27,000 to R28,000 per month.

Affordability is a key characteristic of Midrand. Apartments start from just R6,000 and houses upwards of R8,000 although top-end homes can go to as much as R25,000 to R40,000 per month.

Randburg offers solid middle-class affordability

John O’Reilly, rental expert for Seeff Randburg said Randburg is a vast area characterised by affordability combined with a great location with easy access to Sandton and many business nodes, top schools and amenities.

Rental rates remain affordable at around R6,200 to R11,500 on average with family houses ranging to about R16,000 to R18,000 per month.

In great family areas such as Ferndale which borders the Sandton area, you can find apartments from R5,500 to R11,200 per month. Randpark Ridge also offers great value with apartments from around R6,000 to R11,000 and houses from R15,000 to R16,000 per month.

Johannesburg South

While the more affordable rental market experienced significant challenges, Claire Store from Seeff Southcrest says areas such as Southcrest, Verwoerdpark and Alberton are doing well as they offer some of the best value.

These areas are safe and well-maintained and offer proximity to schools which is great for young families. Rates range from around R7,000 to R10,500 on average per month, but can go to R12,500 for a top property.

Rental rates

According to Johette Smuts, head of data analytics at PayProp, the percentage of people who owe rent and are in arrears is no longer improving at a national level.

This comes after a major recovery from highs seen during the pandemic’s peak, said Smuts.

She added that the majority of provinces saw improvements over the last quarter, but two of the provinces saw an increase in both the percentage of tenants in arrears and the average amount of arrears as a percentage of monthly rent.

According to Smuts, the North West recorded the highest percentage of tenants in arrears, as its metrics deteriorated from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022 by leaping from 18.2% to a concerning 25.5%. Of the average person who owes rental money, 101.4% of their monthly payable rent is outstanding.

PayProp added that this might be due to the high number of student rentals in the province.

Despite being the most expensive province for tenants, the Western Cape had the lowest percentage of people in arrears at 15%, 3.4% less than the national average.

“It is reassuring to see that the percentage of tenants in arrears has recovered well on a national level and is currently even lower than in Q1 2022, but the data coming from areas like the North West and the Northern Cape is concerning and will need to be monitored,” said Smuts.

Most in debt provinces

PayProp compared provincial arrears to national arrears and tracked their respective movement between the final quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022; here is what was found:

  • National: PayProp’s data showed that the national average of tenants in arrears was 18.4%.
  • North West: The percentage of tenants in arrears in the North West deteriorated from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022 with a significant increase from 18.2% to 25.5%, making the province with the most people outstanding on their rental.
  • Free State: The percentage of tenants in arrears improved in the Free State to 22.8% in Q1 of this year, up from 23.7% in Q4 of 2021. Despite this, it was still higher than the national average and placed the province as the second highest.
  • Northern Cape: The Northern Cape saw an increase in its percentage of tenants in arrears from 20.6% in 2021 to 21.6% in Q1 2022 – just over 3% higher than the national average, said PayProp.
  • KwaZulu-Natal: In KwaZulu-Natal, the percentage of tenants in arrears improved slightly down from 21.8% to 21.4% in the first quarter of 2022. Despite improvement, it was still 3% higher than the national average.
  • Eastern Cape: In the Eastern Cape, the percentage of tenants in arrears improved from 20.6% in Q4 2021 to 20.5% in Q1 2022, 2.1% higher than the national average.
  • Limpopo: Limpopo recorded slightly below national average percentages, remaining at 18.1% throughout the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, boasting 0.3% less than the national average.
  • Mpumalanga: PayProp said that the percentage of tenants in arrears in Mpumalanga improved from 18.1% in Q4 2021 to 17.1% in Q1 2022, ending up below the national average of 18.4%.
  • Gauteng: It was reported that in Q1 of 2022, only 16% of tenants were in arrears, lower than the national average of 18.4%, said PayProp.
  • Western Cape: PayProp reported that the Western Cape saw a slight improvement in the percentage of tenants in arrears, giving it the lowest figure in the country. 15% of tenants in the Cape are in arrears, 3.4% less than the national average.

Smuts added that higher rental growth is reassuring for the economy however, tenant affordability remains an issue and a slowdown in the global economy.

Rising rental costs

Although provinces like the North West have almost a quarter of renters in arrears, rental prices continue to rise, pushing cash-strapped South Africans further into debt.

“The quarterly PayProp Rental Index shows that rental growth rebounded in the first quarter of 2022, with year-on-year (YoY) growth of 1.5%, 1.1% and 3% recorded in January, February and March, respectively,” said Smuts.

March had the strongest rental growth performance recorded since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The average national rent was brought to roughly R7,958 per month in the first quarter of 2022 as a result of a 1.8% increase in residential rents, said Smuts.

According to PayProp, Mpumalanga recorded the highest rental growth rate in the first quarter of this year at 5.3% year-on-year, while Gauteng was the only province to show negative growth, decreasing by 0.1%.

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