27 Sep 2012
Annelie Botha, owner of the local Aida franchise, reports that homes for sale are in short supply and many prospective buyers have little choice but to rent accommodation.
Bela Bela experienced a flurry of upmarket lifestyle estate development on nearby nature reserves during the boom years.
Botha explains that there is currently little demand in this sector of the market since the stream of buyers who were buying luxury homes as weekend and holiday accommodation has dried up.
“There is a dire need for affordable accommodation that has not been addressed with new development because of the recession and subsequent tough economic times.”
She says as a result, rentals have escalated sharply, with modest one bedroom flats in old blocks now commanding rentals of R2 000 a month and more.
Rentals for two bedroom flats or townhouses start at R3 800 a month, while rentals for two bedroom freehold homes in secure complexes start at R5 000 a month.
Older homes in the inner town areas with two or three bedrooms are fetching rentals of between R6 000 and R9 000 a month.
Botha says those homes that are for sale are relatively expensive because of the strong demand, with smaller and older properties in the R450k to R750k price range being targeted by first-time buyers and retirees.
Most first-time buyers in the town are office workers at Eskom's local branch or at the local municipality and earn between R15 000 and R18 000 a month.
Meanwhile, although demand for properties in the local leisure market is currently depressed, Botha says that the estate homes remain good long-term investments because Bela Bela has lost none of its appeal as a tourism centre.
Homes in lifestyle estates around the town offer state-of-the-art luxury and many are built on three levels, offering unimpeded bushveld views and priced between R2 million to R6 million.
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