20 Nov 2008
Smallholdings around the Drakensburg town of Underberg are selling well to those looking to escape the city rat race and raise their families in the country.
So says Neil Prior, principal of leading local agency Homenet Underberg, who notes that Underberg offers its residents a distinct "change of pace", with the most popular local activities being fly fishing, mountain biking, birding, hiking, canoeing and horse riding. The area is also relatively crime-free.
"Many find the smallholdings appealing in that they offer an unrestricted way of life. Most have cottages or houses and some even have a small river transecting the property. Families are moving in with their pets and inevitably add cows, chickens and horses to the brood. The breadwinners of the family then either work at home via a digital office setup or commute weekly to Martizburg, Durban or even Johannesburg."
At present, the most typically sought-after smallholdings measure between 20ha and 100ha. Vacant smallholdings are selling from R1,5m while developed smallholdings are selling for as much as R4,5m.
A small town, Underberg is fully serviced and development has intentionally been kept low key in order to preserve the area's intrinsic and aesthetic appeal. Freehold properties in the town are selling for around R1,1m and sectional title properties are selling for between R790 000 and R2m. The rentals market is also fairly active with two-bedroom accommodation letting for R2000 a month and four bedroom houses letting for R5500.
Recently, an aesthetics committee was formed to ensure that existing and new buildings in the town conform to the architectural style that characterises the area. Typically, structures are stone clad and thatched with pitched roofs.
An urban upgrade plan is also in the pipeline with a view to uplifting the town's main street in particular. Plans include overhauling shop frontages, planting trees and making the town more tourist-friendly in general.
For more information contact 033 702 1746.
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