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BFN's Estoire bucks past trends

03 Sep 2008
Estoire small holding area situated on the north east of Bloemfontein, has never been considered prime investment area. Things are now set to change.

Estoire has historically been a low market, poor white area, with dreary plot housing. It was considered an area where people survived and did little else. Situated close to Bloemfontein's airport on the N8 Thaba Nchu Rd, prices reflected the low demand for property in this area.

But this situation has dramatically changed. Average prices in 2000 were around R274k. A minimum price of just R60k was paid for a 4,28 hectare plot, with a maximum selling price in the area of R1m.

By 2004 little had changed though the number of sales had increased from 10 to 28. The average price had dropped to as little as R186,075 with a maximum price of only R490k.

Then the changes started to take place. In 2005 the total sales value rose to a staggering R16,673m from only R5,210,124 the previous year. Average prices rise to R757,863 with the highest price being paid now a high R6,7m. Although the number of sales dropped to 14 in 2006, the average price rose to R1,288,031 (41%) and to R2,187,583 or a further 70% rise.

Where has this huge growth come from? Parts of Estoire are mixed use areas and its good positioning in a changing Bloemfontein has resulted in it becoming attractive for industrial and commercial uses. There is a lack of available light industrial sites and those that are still held by the municipality in the Ooseinde industrial area are for various reasons very difficult to purchase from them.

While there has been a swing towards small warehousing type properties, there also seems to be an emerging need for large sites which provide good parking and scope for expansion. Estoire is one of two ideal areas for this the other being Quaggafontein on the south east of the city. During the past 18 months a number of companies have opened premises on Lessing Ave and the new development adjacent to the railway line has been fully subscribed.

A well-known local departmental store has purchased a 4 hectare site on Lessing Ave for the erection of their major northern branch and together with the new 9,000sq m Home Lifestyle Centre, which is currently being let by Platinum Global, will make major improvements in the area.

Considerable interest has been engendered by Johannesburg-based Business Venture Investments Pty Ltd who have purchased and transferred over 40 small holdings for a major suburb development in the affordable price range. At an average price well in excess of R2m that was paid for these properties it has had a major influence on prices and demand in the area.

"These sizeable developments will provide a major source of customers for the new commercial developments taking place in the area. The character of Estoire is set to change and this change has already started. We are involved in major projects which will put Bloemfontein on the map and bring a massive investment to Bloemfontein and this area in particular," says Mike Spencer, owner of Platinum Global, a local property sales and management company.

Demand in the area has risen in line with prices and despite the downturn in the current market this trend has continued for property sales in Estoire in 2008.

For more information contact Mike Spencer on 082 881 4711 or send an email.

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