06 Nov 2012
Those who enjoy trying to track trends in the property market – a group that is growing in size and becoming increasingly vocal these days, especially in social media – often overlook what is happening in outlying and country districts.
This is according to Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, who saysone only has to look at what has happened to property prices in Greyton in the Cape or Clarens in the Free State to realise that these out-of-the-way areas can rapidly become the flavour of the month.
Right now, he says, an upgrading and transformation process appears to be taking place throughout the Hilton precinct in KwaZulu-Natal. This is an area, he says, that has already attracted almost a dozen gated estates and which is particularly popular with KZN and Gauteng buyers because it has a cool, misty climate in summer- often 3° or 4° centigrade below that of Pietermaritzburg and perhaps 8° below the Durban ‘sauna’ belt.
In Hilton, Rawson Properties co-franchisees Andrew Morphew and Alex Beadle, have reported a surprisingly successful sales run since 1 June 2012 and are confident that it will continue.
Morphew says he always had confidence that the area would takeoff. The reason, he says, is not just that it is attractive (‘leafy’ and ‘fertile’) but because, the precinct is experiencing considerable commercial and industrial development and, in addition, is within easy commuting distance of Pietermaritzburg.
Apart from these advantages, he says, it has also now established a name for itself as a good area in which to retire.
The Rawson Properties Hilton franchisees are currently involved with the marketing and selling of two major new developments.
The first is Garlington, a 130ha estate, which is made up of 350 residential opportunities and about 90 percent of the general residential properties are sold. The Rawson Properties franchisees have been responsible for 60 percent of the sales over the last two years and are now mainly involved with resales.
Garlington’s stands vary in size from 420 square metres to 19 000 square metres and have been priced at anything from R350 000 to R3.4 million per vacant stand.
Buyers are then allowed to build for themselves, but they have to ensure that the designs are approved by a Home Owners Association and conform to the architectural guidelines which are fundamentally Cape Vernacular in style.
Morphew says the completed values of the homes at Garlington tend to be priced between R1.65 million to R10 million.
The estate therefore, he says, offers opportunities for a wide variety of buyers in all income groups, to buy into this attractive project.
The second Hilton development is at Hilton College and aptly named The Gates at Hilton. The Endowment Foundation has set aside 44.3ha for a residential development which will have 81 stands (50 in Phase I). These are on average 2 000 square metres in size and they are being marketed at prices from R 940 000.
Once again buyers can design and build for themselves (i.e. appoint their own architects and contractors), but again have to conform to design rulings which will help create a pleasing but not-too-strict uniformity in the development.
The development has attractive views across the Umgeni River Valley and to the Karkloof Mountain Range, as well as the Drakensberg.
The unusual aspect of this development is its close association with Hilton College and therefore its ability to allow residents to use the extensive Hilton College Estate with all its sporting amenities and its beautiful 550ha nature reserve.
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