16 Jan 2013
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says the property market in Hilton has seen a change this year, with sectional title units outselling freestanding properties for the first time since pre-2003. Figures for the last 12 months reflect that 31 sectional title units were sold compared to the nine freestanding homes sold during the same period.
This is remarkable considering that property in Hilton consists of 70.2 percent freestanding homes and just 29.8 percent sectional title units. The average price for a sectional title unit in 2012 was around R825 000, while the average price for a freestanding home was approximately R1.2 million.
He says the area’s lifestyle offers cool, fresh air and scenic views of the Drakensberg and continues to attract property investors to Hilton. He notes that although the town has grown over the years, it has still managed to maintain its village-like feel and laid back atmosphere.
Goslett says the town is gaining interest among family buyers who are more than likely wanting to take advantage of the excellent schools in the area.
Information obtained from Lightstone, a property statistics and information provider, shows that the 33.33 percent of recent buyers are between 36 and 49 years old, while 31.48 percent fall into the 18 to 35 age group. It is interesting to note that the largest percentage of recent sellers are those that are 65 years and older. This age group represents over 40 percent of sellers in the past few months.
Across the board demand for property in the area is particularly strong within the R800 000 to R1.5 million bracket, with 60 percent of the freestanding homes and 90 percent of the sectional title units sold falling into this category. Around 20 percent of the freestanding homes sold during the last 12 months were at a higher selling price, in the R1. 5 million to R3 million range.
The distinctly English town was named by the wife of politician, merchant and banker, Joseph Henderson who had purchased a large portion of the farm Ongegung in 1857. The couple, who married in Pietermaritzburg, later accompanied Theophilus Shepstone as adviser to the then called Transvaal in 1877.
The area is home to one of the top private schools in the country, namely Hilton College, which was opened by the Reverend WO Newnham in 1982. The school is host to the Hilton Arts Festival, a two-and-a-half day event that showcases the best of South African theatre in KwaZulu-Natal.
There are five schools in Hilton, which include Cowan House, a private boarding school founded in 1948. During 1997 the school was completely destroyed by fire and was rebuilt in the same year.
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