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Karoo property offers unbeatable value

14 Nov 2014

As a region, the Karoo is rapidly moving in a direction that is encouraging sustained growth and investment - with focus areas which include conservation, heritage, food and quality of life.

This home which has been running as a guest house for many years in Hanover, and has six bedrooms and six bathrooms. It is on the market for R1.595 million - click here to view.

This is according to Wayne Rubidge, Pam Golding Properties manager for the Karoo, who says the towns and farms that make up the ‘Great Karoo’ are alive and busy developing their own unique styles of the ‘brand Karoo’.

In October, Richmond hosted the Heritage South Africa’s National Symposium, where the town showcased its historic, flat-roofed houses which are like no other town in South Africa. With specialists such as historians, archaeologists and palaeontologists invited to present short lectures raising awareness of what makes the Karoo so special, the symposium served to highlight the unique attributes and properties of the Karoo.

“Each town has the opportunity to create its owns niche within the burgeoning groundswell of interest, which began gathering impetus from around 2004/5. This interest was initially sparked by a growing appreciation of the special categories of property the Karoo has to offer, coupled with increasing interest in investing in a country lifestyle - particularly in the various regions within the Karoo,” says Rubidge.

This five bedroom house in Loxton has a fireplace, an outdoor entertainment area and two splash pools. It is priced at R1.65 million - click here to view.

The Karoo represents around 40 percent of South Africa’s landscape, dotted with a wide range of distinct towns, where interest in residential property continues unabated. This includes the ongoing discovery of special properties in emerging Karoo towns. Northern Cape Towns like Hanover, Richmond, Phillipstown, and Loxton remain attractive and offer a wide range of Karoo vernacular architectural styles and unbeatable value.

According to Rubidge, the Karoo offers a wide range of towns with properties across all price bands. In Graaff-Reinet and Prince Albert, for example, many homes change hands for in excess of R1 million, while in smaller towns the most popular price band is under R500 000.

He says those buying property in the Karoo do so for a many reasons, including retiring to a secure and affordable location with a relaxed way of life. Others, particularly in the 50 plus age group, choose the Karoo to work from, with a number of new buyers opening businesses. “The ever-popular lifestyle attracts a variety of buyers often looking for cheaper historic properties which they can renovate or restore themselves.”

This home in Richmond offers two bedrooms. It is on the market for R215 000 - click here to view.

Rubidge says these buyers are into sun and wind power, providing their own water as far as possible, handling sewerage disposal, and keeping chickens, pigs and the like. Of the past 18 properties sold in the town, four were couples relocating for retirement, while others acquire old, dilapidated houses for R50 000 to R100 000 to renovate. A number of people in their 50s can also be found working from Phillipstown in IT and design work, bringing an injection of new money into the local economy.

“In Hanover, we recently concluded the sale of a three bedroom family house which has been transformed into a seven room (all en suite), 5 Star guesthouse. The buyer had the vision when viewing the property to turn this into a business venture to capitalise on a gap in the market. Hopefully, to coincide with the opening of this guesthouse, fitted with imported interior items and specially designed sash windows, will be the migration of the Lesser Kestrel birds from as far as Kazakhstan and Siberia on their sojourn to Southern Africa.”

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