07 Aug 2013
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says nearly 80 percent of recent buyers in Kokstad have been under the age of 49 years old, with around 49.32 percent falling into the 36 to 49 year old age group and 30.14 percent aged between 18 and 35 years old.
He notes that a large majority of the existing homeowners (42.56 percent) in the area are also between the ages of 36 and 49 years old, with this demographic representing around 53.97 percent of recent sellers.
According to Lightstone, property in Kokstad consists mostly of freehold homes (90.47 percent), with only a small percentage of sectional title units representing around 9.53 percent of the market. Goslett says from 2004 up until the peak of the property boom in 2007, property prices in Kokstad grew steadily. However, in 2008, prices dipped dramatically with the average price of a freestanding home dropping from R493 000 to just R289 000.
Prices recovered remarkably during 2009 and remained fairly stable until 2011. Prices shot up to record highs in 2012, with the average price of a freehold home around R767 000 and a sectional title unit around R812 000.
Goslett says despite the drastic price drop in 2008, the number of property sales transactions was the highest number recorded in the last 10 years with 144 properties sold. The number of sales transactions dropped in 2009, with the average number of properties sold annually for the past four years sitting at around 81.
Property sales in the area between June 2012 and May 2013 were spread fairly evenly between three price categories, says Goslett. He notes that around 32.9 percent of properties sold during this period were priced between R800 000 and R1.5 million, approximately 31.6 percent were priced between R400 000 and R800 000, and 30.4 percent were sold for below R400 000. The remaining 5.1 percent were properties from the higher-end of the market that sold for between R1.5 million and R3 million.
During the 1820s, the Griqua tribe living in Griqua town, split under the leadership of Adam Kok III. One of the groups moved to Philippolis in southern part of the Free State Province. In 1861, due to growing conflict with the Voortrekkers, several hundred Griquas had moved across the Drakensberg and downthe Ongeluks Nek into the region of modern day Kokstad.
Initially settling on a steep mountain slope and living in mud huts, the Griquas named the mountain they settled on Mount Currie after Sir Walter Currie, who had provided them with support in their effort to settle in the region. Adam Kok named their settlement East Griqualand.
In 1869, the Griquas asked Reverend William Dower to establish a mission, which he did on the condition that the tribe resettle in a more suitable place on the banks of the Mzimhlava River. This new location would be where the town was built.
The first hotel, called the Royal, was built in Kokstad and opened by an African American, who also started the first newspaper in 1881, known as the Kokstad Advertiser. By 1892, Kokstad had become a municipality and by 1904 the population was around 2 903 people, a third of who were Griquas. Today the population in Kokstad is over 45 000 and it has been dubbed as one of the fastest growing towns in KwaZulu-Natal.
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