Cradock property in the Eastern Cape set to boom

Flowing for 644km through the Eastern Cape, coursing through luxuriant bushveld and scenic valleys, the upper Great Fish River literally sets the table for Cradock and the surrounding areas as the breadbasket of the region.

Set on 3440ha in Cradock n the Karoo Midlands, this game farm is marketed by Pam Golding Properties at R41.5 million. The farm includes 22 species of game and can accommodate 17 guests.

Some 250km north of Port Elizabeth on the N10 and situated in the Karoo Midlands, Cradock is the fourth oldest town in the Eastern Cape with around 30 000 inhabitants. The town has good schools and educational facilities, including an agricultural college, a full range of services and facilities, as well as positive new developments in the pipeline which augur well for the region, according to Wayne Rubidge, Pam Golding Properties manager for the Karoo.

“Strategically well positioned on a major national road and on the main rail line, Cradock has considerable potential and supports further infrastructure development. As regional capital, the town is set to boom and is already established as one of the Eastern Cape’s most vibrant agricultural-based economies with a very buoyant resident, commercial and agricultural property market.

He says in the Karoo context, as well as that of the Eastern Cape, Cradock is unique in the sense of ‘diversity of place’. The town is surrounded by the beautiful Karoo countryside with the rugged Mountain Zebra National Park at its doorstep and the green, water- rich Fish River valley dominating the landscape. Produce from the countryside is centred round wool, mohair, mutton, lamb and beef and derived from the irrigation scheme are an abundance of cash crops such as maize, nuts and lucerne, large dairies and abundant irrigated pasture. Niche products such as limes, sugar beet and the like are set to be grown in the area.

Priced at R1.385 million through Pam Golding Properties, this four bedroom home with separate flat is ideal for the professional and family. It includes original Oregon pine doors and gleaming floors and five original fireplaces.

Says Rubidge: “Demand for property is set to escalate as Cradock grows in importance as a regional hub. For an investor or visitor the area offers unparalleled diversity. From natural, hot sulphur spring spa’s and game-filled national parks,  to local festivals and celebrations, Cradock’s Karoo architecture is showcased like no other’s - in the form of Tuishuise comprising an entire street of beautifully restored Karoo cottages offering accommodation to guests.”

Pam Golding Properties (PGP) has taken note of the town’s resurgence and has appointed Andy Collett, who has a wealth of experience as a property consultant, to head up the agency’s presence in the area in what is expected to become a very important market.  Collett, who has been with PGP for over 20 years, has returned to his Karoo roots, where he grew up on the family farm and studied at Grootfontein Agricultural College in nearby Middelburg.

Says Rubidge: “The level of service PGP Karoo will be bring to the Cradock area coupled with Andy’s international exposure will be of key benefit to local residents, including business executives, entrepreneurs, farmers as well as those from further afield looking to buy and invest in the area. Part of the service will include aspects such as being able to assist local clients wishing to invest in income-earning offshore property. Supported in the business by his wife, Darylann, PGP will showcase some of the prime investments that the Cradock and Fish River region offer.”

In Cradock average house prices in the residential areas are around the R750 000 price bracket with low end bargain properties around R500 000 still available on the market from time to time. Top end properties on the market range between R1 million and R1.5 million for a large three bedroom house.

This period home in Cradock in the Karoo Midlands has been converted to a restaurant and is marketed by Pam Golding Properties at R1.3 million.

Says Collett: “The lifestyle market, which includes the residential market, is also made up of small Karoo farms and small irrigation farms in the Fish River Valley. Karoo livestock farms sell for around R4000 per hectare while developed game farms are on the market at prices up to approximately R7500 per hectare. The huge irrigation scheme has seen irrigation property prices rise and a well-developed irrigation farm under centre pivot (irrigation system) can sell for up to R150 000 a hectare while flood irrigation farms are still available from time to time at some R100 000 per hectare.”

Special properties on offer via PGP in this booming Karoo town include a lucrative and well established, 3440ha game farm with an enviable 22 year history of international operation. Priced at R41.5 million, 22 species of game are included in sustainable established herds, while the property incorporates excellent open and mixed veld types with good grass and bush cover. A river runs through the top and lower end of the farm with 54ha of permanent flooded pastures for emergency feeding. A total of 17 guests can be accommodated.

One of Cradock’s original Victorian homes, a large four bedroom (two en suite) residence with five original fireplaces and beautiful Oregon pine doors and polished floors is available for purchase through Pam Golding Properties at R1.385 million. The property also includes a separate flat with independent entrance, three undercover garages, large backyard and separate braai and entertainment area.

 Also on the market is a period house trading as a restaurant, with many of the original features converted to restaurant layout with an outside entertainment area and conference facility. Ideally located close to the main access road, this period building is zoned for business rights with a liquor licence attached. Including the original fireplaces and fitted with air conditioning, the property is priced at R1.3 million through Pam Golding Properties.

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