At this stage, we are looking exclusively into single-family detached housing
developments in Gauteng. When this type of housing is mixed with services at the proper density it creates a quality urban environment and strong communities.
Even though Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa by land area, it is one of the two largest property markets (along with the Western Cape). More than 3,000 detached single-family houses were built here in 2021 alone, making this market segment larger than flats and townhouses by value.
We have evaluated more than 200 single-family development projects in Johannesburg and Pretoria to identify the most sought-after housing typology. The results provide a wide range of development opportunities varying in parcel dimensions, floor size, and the number of bedrooms. See identified typologies in Fig.02.Type SDU:Subsidiary Dwelling Unit (SDU) development is a popular model for many property owners in CoJ. The latest town planning regulation allows an owner of a property zoned Residential 1 to build up to two subsidiary dwelling units on the said property. Of course, subject to additional conditions, it is an opportunity for small-scale developers which simultaneously stimulates the densification and diversification of low-density residential areas.The floor area of the subsidiary dwelling units cannot exceed 160m² or 90% of the main dwelling house. The overall development should also comply with the density and the site coverage criteria attributed to the area. These units may only be built in relation to an existing dwelling. By following these guidelines, property owners can expand a home or create an additional rental unit while staying within the parameters set by planning rules.
It is vital to remember that the choice of typology creates a particular density *, diversity and sense of place. The higher density and diversity, the more of a ‘centre’ an area becomes and the more services and intercity transport are required. Lower densities with no services and jobs around make residents depend on cars or extensive public transport routes. It makes living expensive and the city less healthy.* Land and Use Scheme Guidelines 2017 by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform define the above typologies as Medium density for Type S, Low Density for Type M, and Very Low Density for Type L. It recommends which urban areas should accommodate these densities to achieve a balanced and fair city.Despite these guidelines and the corresponding CoJ Land Use Scheme 2018, Johannesburg faces a lot of pressure from property developers to build on the urban periphery. Township establishments and re-zoning on the periphery feed urban sprawl and transport mobility problems.
Conversely, mixed-use areas with diverse housing typologies and densities, balanced with public transport infrastructure and services, create more advantageous environments.
In OneCity Insights
, we use additional tools (like Development Impact Gauge) to the planning regulations to identify investment opportunities in locations that are favourable for the city and sought-after by leading investors.