Homes sales on fire in booming Upington

In Upington in the Northern Cape, a huge surge of economic activity over the past two years has driven up home sales and caused the local residential market to boom.

“The completion of several capital projects, like a new hospital, the upgrading of the airport and the construction of a huge solar plant has attracted many new workers and residents, and demand is currently outstripping supply in both the rental and sales sectors,” according to Theuns and Elmarie de Bruin, the new Chas Everitt International Notebook© licensees for Upington.

However, they note that most of their sales over the past few months have been in the lower and middle-income segments, and that many existing owners are now downscaling to less affluent areas due to affordability concerns, especially around property rates. “In fact, it is a challenge to sell anything priced at more than R1,5m at the moment.”

Nevertheless, Upington’s identification as a key area for renewables in the government’s Integrated Resources Plan has really put it on the map. It will be home to the planned solar Special Economic Zone, with the 140ha Khi Solar-One, Africa’s first concentrated solar project, set to provide 50MW of energy to the grid.

Upington also boasts an international airport with the longest runway in the southern hemisphere and daily scheduled flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town, as well as the state-of-the-art Harry Surtie Hospital, built at a cost of more than R1bn, and the massive new Kalahari Mall.

In terms of residential property, Upington offers a wide range of options at prices from below R1m to over R4m. Currently, the demand for properties in the under-R1,4m category is highest in the suburb of Blydeville, which is close to good schools, the mall, the private hospital, the CBD and the airport, the De Bruins say.

“However, the price range with strongest demand is R350 000 to R550 000, and as there is really nothing available in that range, there is now a huge opportunity for developers here,” they say.

“At the moment there are only two substantial developments in the works, the first of which is Bella Rosa, which will consist of 300 free-standing houses starting at R1,55m, and townhouses in the R899 000 to R1,05m price bracket. The second is Belle Rio, a lifestyle development on the banks of the Orange River 25km outside Upington with totally independent services. Stands here are priced at R280 000 to R600 000.”

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