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Nelspruit and White River becoming property hotspots

18 Dec 2015

An influx of people migrating from surrounding areas into the burgeoning hub of Nelspruit and White River in Mpumalanga has created a considerable shortfall in homes available to rent and is further boosting the demand for homes to buy.

This home in Nelspruit has four bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen and dining room, study, games room, patio and landscaped garden. It is selling for R5.2 million - click here to view.

This is according to Pam Golding Properties area principal, Dirk van Rooyen, who says a high rental demand is particularly evident in the capital city of Nelspruit, where those who cannot yet afford to buy homes are looking to rent mainly in the R3 200 to R7 500 per month price bracket.

Di Dessington, area principal for Pam Golding Properties, says just north in White River a similar movement of residents, mainly from the rural area of Kabokweni and other surrounding districts, is driving the strong demand for rentals in the lower range.

“This mirrors a national trend towards urbanisation and densification of economic hubs, which affords access to employment and amenities,” says Dessington.

“An enterprising local businesswoman with vision recently invested about R2 million in constructing a brand new community shopping centre in Kabokweni, which is good news for the local residents.”

Considered the gateway to Kruger National Park and situated some 110km west of the Mozambique border, development in Nelspruit continues apace, adding appeal for property acquisitions.

Van Rooyen says they have two new hospitals, one in town which relocated and expanded, and the other positioned halfway between Nelspruit and White River.

This three bedroom house in Sonheuwel, Nelspruit, offers a study, wooden floors and landscaped garden. It is on the market for R3.95 million - click here to view.

The construction of a new High Court building has been completed, while two of their largest shopping centres, Riverside Mall and I’langa Mall, are doubling in size. Coupled with this, the industrial and commercial area is expanding dramatically with many new businesses moving in and flourishing.

Although not experiencing the same high stock shortages in residential properties for purchase as the major metros in South Africa, the price range between R600 000 and R1.5 million is in huge demand and short supply.

“About 80% of our buyers are black, the bulk being government employees already in the vicinity or relocating to Nelspruit from other areas,” says Van Roooyen.

“These buyers have access to large sums of deposits while the banks are giving 100% loans to certain buyers. Other buyers are moving in this area for business purposes, seeking homes priced from R2.5 to R5 million.”

The strong demand for homes has seen a flurry of new developments brought to market. Currently, there are residential developments on the market in the R400 000 to R2 million price bracket, having over the past 18 months sold approximately 60 in the low price range and 22 in the higher segment, he says.

In addition, Van Rooyen says there are three secure lifestyle estates which are also popular and selling at a steady pace, priced from R1.6 million for two bedrooms to R2 million for three bedroom, two bathroom homes with high quality finishes.

This property in White River has four bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen and covered patio with built-in braai. It is priced at R3.7 million - click here to view.

The growing demand for sectional title apartments in secure complexes as well as security estates sees six new developments planned to commence during 2016.

He says over and above these, the demand for retirement accommodation continues unabated, with three new developments in the marketplace and selling well to buyers as far spread as Gauteng and the Cape, seeking to enjoy the good climate during winter and to be close to Kruger National Park. Equipped with frail care centres, some 100 units have been snapped up during the last 18 months.

“Infrastructure in Nelspruit is sound and the city is efficiently managed by the local municipality. For visiting Mozambicans, this remains an attractive shopping destination, as well as a desirable location to acquire a home,” says Van Rooyen.

“Bringing their children to private schools or for medical facilities, they tend to prefer security developments situated close to shopping malls and priced in the region of R800 000 to R1.2 million.”

And to cater mainly for the anticipated increased demand for student accommodation near the new University of Mpumalanga, he says there is talk of the development of high density units to be launched during 2016 constructed on the site of the former agricultural college.

Dessington says a popular tourist destination and entrenched farming district, White River is experiencing similar housing trends, albeit on a smaller scale, with the majority of new homeowners black buyers in the R800 000 to R1.2 million price band.

This property in White River has two bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen and patio. It is on sale for R678 000 - click here to view.

“Above R2.5 million to approximately R5 million, buyers from all walks of life generally look for a secure, estate lifestyle with access to private schools,” says Dessington.

“A positive indicator during the latter part of 2015 has been the slow resurgence in demand for lifestyle homes out of town, as well as holiday homes, sectors of the market which have previously been quiet.”

Dessington says, however, established residential areas remain in high demand and are achieving good prices, while in White River Country Estate where homes sell from around R2.6 million to R7.8 million, the demand outstrips supply.

“With a large share of our buyers hailing from Gauteng, the scenic and tranquil environment attracts those relocating for retirement or business purposes, preferring to reside in White River and commute daily or as required.”

Known as the ‘Nut Capital of the Lowveld’ White River is renowned for its macadamia farms, with virgin land to grow the highly sought-after crop.

Established macadamia farms, which vary in size from 30ha can change hands for upwards of R400 000 per hectare for a farm with a good specific variety of trees and good yield, also depending on water supply and the location of the farm. Young trees not yet bearing can go for R200 000 per hectare.
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