Excellent property value in highlands of Mpumalanga

From modest weekend getaways to large maize and cattle farms, there are property investment opportunities aplenty in the rural towns all along the Maputo Development Corridor in Mpumalanga.

“And economic uncertainty in the region has created a buyers’ market, with an abundance of farms, smallholdings and weekend homes to choose from in towns like Belfast, Dullstroom, Machadadorp and Waterval Boven,” says Francois de Villiers, owner of the RealNet franchise in Belfast.

“We are feeling the effects of the general economic slowdown. However, this always brings with it opportunities for investors who can acquire prime real estate at ‘bargain basement’ prices.”

He says entrepreneurs are currently already taking advantage of the chance to snap up multimillion-rand eco-tourism and farming properties, and that in Machadodorp, which boasts the oldest trout-fishing club in the country, many of the modest cottages are now owned by top business leaders who visit on weekends to “get away from it all”.

An important cattle and maize farming region, the highlands of Mpumalanga also has many established farms with boreholes, irrigation water rights and Eskom electricity. “And many farmers are ready to retire at the moment, making way for a new generation of younger farmers at very favourable prices. For example, we currently have a 78ha farm, including livestock, implements and a homestead, on the market for only R3,7m.”

As for eco-tourism opportunities, De Villiers says another value for money property currently on the market is an established eco-tourism business on a 217ha farm in the Schoemanskloof area with river frontage, swimming pool, lapa, four bedroom house and potential for game farming, priced at R5,4m.

“We also have a 50ha farm near Bambi in the Badfontein area, overlooking the Kwena Dam, for sale for only R1,4m. Slightly more pricey is the 57ha farm with homestead, outbuildings, Eskom electricity and three separate fishing and camping camps, which is on the market for R2,99m.”

Also available now, he says, is a 107ha farm with business rights that forms part of an incomplete “green” development with seven springs, two boreholes and five dams. It has been subdivided into 24 stands each measuring three to five hectares and is priced at R6,6m.”

If buyers would like to build their own weekend homes, vacant residential stands overlooking the rolling hills are available for as little as R99 000. “And if you just want a basic weekend getaway, you can purchase a two-bedroom wooden cottage on a stand of 2855sqm in Belfast for as little as R275 000.”

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