Are you planning on buying a property in South Africa and wondering what are the best suburbs in Johannesburg? Johannesburg is South Africa’s economic hub and one of the best cities to live in Africa. Johannesburg is also known as the City of Gold because of its’ history as a gold mining city. There are around 3.8 million people living in Johannesburg between the ages of 19 and 39, most of whom are young professionals, or first time home buyers searching for successful careers offered in the region.
The city provides a variety of business opportunities and many people are relocating to Johannesburg there from all parts of the world. Johannesburg is the world’s largest city not built on a sea, or on a lake or river. That’s why Johannesburg is also named the world’s biggest ‘dry port’. Johannesburg is 2000 m above sea level and the air is not so dense. More than half of the cargo that arrives at the City Deep container terminal via Durban ports and Cape Town go to Johannesburg.
A number of existing suburbs, convenient shopping centres and other entertainment facilities are located in Johannesburg. Johannesburg’s affluent and wealthy sections can be found in north Johannesburg and include areas such as Sandton, Houghton, and Melrose.
Whichever city you want to live in, you’ll have convenient access to a variety of retail shopping facilities that can suit your needs. Shopping malls like Sandton City and The Zone have plenty of boutique designer shops, as well as retail and food chain stores. Furthermore, residents of Johannesburg can appreciate the lively nightlife and variety of restaurants the town has to offer.
The residential areas of Johannesburg range from well-appointed, green suburbs, to rural townships and other suburban areas. Officially, Johannesburg is a metropolitan area under the Johannesburg CBD that includes Sandton, Randburg, Midrand, Soweto, Roodepoort, Newtown, Braamfontein and other suburbs.
To help uncover this city has to offer, this Johannesburg neighbourhood guides help you find the best things to do in each area
The best suburbs in Johannesburg
Figuring out where to rent in Johannesburg can be an overwhelming experience to find a place to rent in Johannesburg, particularly if you are not sure where to start your search. Choosing your neighbourhood depends heavily on where your office is located, which schools your kids will attend, and your affordability.
Everyone’s rental budget differs as money is a major factor when deciding where to rent in Gauteng. The following are the suburbs in Gauteng that are the most common to rent with a strict budget. The top 15 suburbs where you can rent in Johannesburg, for under R10 000 a month:
When you’re looking to rent in Gauteng you should expect to find a great spot in Ferndale. Ferndale is a loved suburb, with tree-lined streets and plenty to do.
The average rental price for a Ferndale property is about R7000, so you’d be spoiled for options when you’re trying to find a modern, budget-friendly home to rent.
If your office is located in the South or Soweto of Johannesburg, Protea Glen is a definite contender for the top of your list on where to rent in Johannesburg.
Properties to rent in Protea Glen range from tiny apartments to 4-bedroom homes, and all fall into the average price of R3800 per month when you rent. At Protea Glen Mall you’ll enjoy shopping, and find it fairly easy to get to where you need to go.
It seems a little easier to settle in at your Northcliff house, given that you can expect to pay R8600 a month when you rent in this area. Northcliff has everything you need, including a close-knit culture. Family-friendly amenities and conveniently situated shopping centres await, along with nice suburban living.
Halfway Gardens appears to have mastered the iconic formula, mixing affordable properties with exceptional comfort. Located right between Centurion and Sandton, Halfway Gardens is almost ideal for a long term rental when you’re beginning or looking to settle in. With the average rental price at roughly R7500.
When you move into Douglasdale you can expect cluster homes, townhouse complexes and spectacular suburban living. Located close enough to major roads and freeways to make life easy, Douglasdale is a charming suburb that attracts both professionals and families in the upcoming career. Douglasdales average rental value is just R9200, making it a priority suburb for anyone looking to rent in Gauteng.
North Riding is now popular with first-time buyers and is also a much-demanded suburb by the rental community. North Riding is an excellent choice of properties to rent for an average price of just under R8000, whether you want to rent or purchase. When you live in the northern part of Johannesburg, North Riding would be the best option for your next neighbourhood.
Young professionals love to live the good life in Paulshof and make a wise financial decision. When looking to rent in Gauteng this Johannesburg suburb is an option. Paulshof is trendy, with every corner of suburban developments sprouting up. When you rent in Paulshof, you can expect to pay about R8250 a month in the new apartments and elegant townhouses.
Lonehill is a well-loved Johannesburg suburb only a 30-kilometre drive from the city centre. Lonehill is a beautiful place to stay with a culture that emphasizes safety and security, attracting families and young professionals for similar reasons: a comfortable location and many things to do. When you’re looking to rent out in Johannesburg, you can’t go wrong with Lonehill, where on average you’ll find a spot to rent for around R9500.
Sunninghill is a very upmarket place to stay when you want to rent in Gauteng, with a wide range of properties, varying in quality, size and design. The average monthly rental price is R9500, and in one of the suburb’s buildings, apartment blocks, or cluster homes you’ll definitely find a nice home.
Mixing it with equal parts of country and cosmopolitan living, Noordwyk is a suburb of Midrand that has seen a lot of growth over the last few decades. Noordwyk makes it convenient for the budget-conscious renter with a wide variety of affordable properties to rent. The average price you’ll pay for renting a Noordwyk property is just R7700 per month. That makes the area likewise popular with those who enjoy a lock-up-and-go lifestyle, and even with corporate tenants.
Choosing a place to stay in your own personal choice. First, will you lease or buy? Foreigners can buy a home in South Africa, but you have to put down a cash deposit of 50 per cent. Then, what kind of area do you want to live in? Know where the routine is going to lead you next.
Midrand is home to many of the bigger companies between Johannesburg and Pretoria, and living here will make the commute a lot easier. Several new properties, affordable housing, and a lot more space.
There are plenty of properties here, and plenty of high-security facilities. Dainfern, Fourways Gardens, and Cedar Lakes are some of the larger golf courses that are developed around and have very multicultural transient populations.
Dainfern is a famous suburb among Johannesburg’s affluent, home to the luxurious Dainfern Lifestyle and Golf Estate, Dainfern Private College and large free-standing properties. The neighbourhood is populated by local celebrities, business owners, artists and foreign nationals with its secure atmosphere and close proximity to upmarket shops.
- 4 bedroom house – Up to R80 000 per month.
- 2 bedroom apartment – Up to R18 000 per month.
In the vicinity of Brynston and Fourways, you can find a central living room, broad property, plenty of cluster homes for your preference. Good South African schools, and the international schools near buses.
In the business centre, next to the main shopping centre, and the Gautrain to Pretoria or the airport. Great collection of apartments and properties, or cluster homes.
Melrose, a sought after suburb, is a leafy and peaceful area home to some of Johannesburg ‘s best schools, shopping malls, art galleries and family-friendly parks. The areas with the most expensive rentals in Melrose include Rosebank and Parktown, offering large, existing homes.
- 4 bedroom house – Up to R39 000 per month
- 2 bedroom apartment – Up to R35 000 per month
Hyde Park is another well-established suburb in Johannesburg with vast properties and provides an opulent lifestyle for tenants. Ranked as one of South Africa’s top suburbs with standard features of indoor swimming pools, home gyms, large balconies and spacious gardens, it’s no wonder that this is a common option for the wealthy Gauteng.
- 4 bedroom house – Up to R90 000 per month.
- 2 bedroom apartment – Up to R36 000 per month.
With so much on offer, it’s no wonder these areas are popular as they are some of the rental market’s most expensive.
Is Johannesburg safe to live
Safety in Johannesburg is one of the major concerns of people who are considering moving or visiting Johannesburg.
Walking around Johannesburg
When you walk around on foot, the chance of crime is most likely from muggings. Although there has been some effort to make the most dangerous central areas safer – such as the introduction of surveillance cameras – stay alert when visiting the central business district (CBD), Braamfontein and Newtown, do your daylight walking, use busy streets and never be complacent.
Johannesburg No-go Zone
Joubert Park, Hillbrow and Berea are considered no-go zones in Johannesburg; whether you are comfortable or have someone to show you around, Yeoville and Observatory are better and more generally good. You are very unlikely to get mugged on Melville, Parktown or Rosebank road.
When you want to walk in one of the most dangerous locations, review maps in advance (not on street corners), don’t walk around with your luggage and avoid youth groups (the biggest offenders). Consider a portion of these readily available if you’re holding valuables, and muggers are likely to be quickly satisfied.
You ‘re unlikely to get mugged on public transportation but, as always, it’s wise to stay alert, especially at busy spots like Park Station and taxi ranks, and be extra careful when getting off minibus taxis. It is usually safe to wait for buses in the Northern suburbs.
Driving around Johannesburg
Remember that there is a slight chance of “smash and grab” robbery or carjacking while you’re driving around; keep all bags and valuables locked in the trunk, lock the car doors and keep windows open while driving after dark or in central areas.
Be mindful of your surroundings as you exit or return to your car and enter driveways, and always look for safe – ideally secured – parking; this is inadequate supply in Jo’burg. Although urban legend says that at night you can drive through red lights, this is unsafe and illegal; brake, keep a fair distance from the car in front of you and be mindful of anyone moving around the vehicle.
Don’t expect too much from the police, who usually have other concerns than keeping visitors an eye out. Private police, recognizable by their yellow armbands and posted at street corners, have an efficient anticrime presence on the street in the city centre and in Rosebank.
Although according to property analysts the rental market is slowing down, there are still a number of people willing to pay for a rental property in the affluent suburbs of Johannesburg. As the country’s business centre, Gauteng continues to draw affluent business people (local and foreign), who either get paid for by their companies or are able to pay the rent themselves. In addition, with land expropriation currently being a hot topic across the country, a number of potential buyers opt to rent until things get clearer.
Final Thoughts on Suburbs in Johannesburg
- Best Suburbs in Johannesburg for expats: Hyde Park
- Top Johannesburg suburbs for young families: Halfway Gardens
- Best places to live in Johannesburg for Students: Midrand