After a quiet year in 2009, during 2010 and with the increase in the platinum price and in mining activity there has been a marked upswing in the property markets in the Mpumalanga towns of Lydenburg and Burgersfort, with a surge in interest among buy-to-let investors, reports Elisme Swart, area principal for Pam Golding Properties.

“The dramatic drop in the platinum price at the end of 2008 to below USD800 had a very negative impact on the platinum mines as there were up to 48 new shafts and plants planned to commence in the Burgersfort/Steelpoort area, which were put on hold. This naturally had a ripple effect on the property market in these areas. However, with the platinum price now up to levels of around USD1500 the situation is looking far more positive for the platinum mines and 12 additional mine shafts are proposed in this area.

New furnaces have been installed at ASA Metals and work is due to begin in July (2010) on the Booysendal platinum project near Lydenburg. Further to this Anglo Platinum and Impala Platinum have already purchased land, with numerous mine houses having already been built and with further homes to be constructed in the future as more people are employed,” says Swart.

“The property markets in Burgersfort/ Steelpoort  and Lydenburg are fed by the private sector , which includes contractors employed by the mines, while businesses which supply products and services to the mines also open up in the area as mining activity increases and they also require houses for their staff. As a result housing accommodation to rent is in high demand and as stock is limited, rental prices are high. This creates sound opportunities for buy-to-let residential property investors, who have returned to the market and now include a growing sector of the market in the under-30 age group. Currently the greatest demand for rental accommodation among tenants is in the R5000 and below price bracket, particularly for two bedroom units, as well as homes with gardens spacious enough for children and pets,” she says.

In terms of homes to buy, stock currently marketed by Pam Golding Properties  (PGP) in the Burgersfort area ranges from R700 000 to R3 million. Home buyers generally are seeking homes priced mainly between R1-R1.2 million for a three bedroom home with two bathrooms and double garage. Vacant stands sell from R265 000 for a 520sqm erf to R850 000 for a one-hectare stand on a game estate. Other vacant stands with building packages are also available in a new development, with a completed home priced at approximately R800 000 for a two bedroom house - and with an ‘add-on later’ concept for those who wish to expand their homes at a later stage.

An exceptional property currently on the market in Burgersfort through PGP is an exclusive 110 ha farm which includes three luxury homes and 40ha of farmland with water rights and game viewing rights on 600ha. The newly built homes comprise a main house with five bedrooms and three bathrooms, gymnasium and Jacuzzi; second house with four bedrooms en suite and third home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The property includes a beautiful garden with water features, fully fenced and with its own golf driving range. Marketed at R35 million, this secure property is ideal for use as a guest lodge, luxury retirement accommodation, extended family use or conference centre, as conference facilities with overnight accommodation are in demand in Burgersfort, Steelpoort and Lydenburg.  There is also ample space for the addition of luxury chalets, play parks for children etc. 

In Lydenburg, PGP reports the demand is mainly for properties under R850 000. “Apartments, townhouses and cluster homes up to R700 000 seem to offer the best value for money, particularly those with three bedrooms and two bathrooms,” says Swart.

Located at the foothills of the Long Tom Pass, Lydenburg is in the heart of the Highlands Meander and within easy reach of world-renowned tourist attractions such as Blyde River Canyon, Pilgrims Rest and Kruger National Park. In addition, there’s a host of leisure activities including hiking trails, the spectacular Lydenburg Waterfall – which comprises three waterfalls, nature reserves and fishing.

Prospects for the town’s economy have increased significantly as a result of platinum mine expansion and Swart says there is talk of two new hotels, a Medi-Clinic, two new shopping malls and primary and high schools.

Currently PGP is marketing two properties with sound potential for further residential development or business use. Both well situated in Lydenburg’s main road, each property is set on a stand of 2855sqm and is ideal for business use or for townhouses or flats. The first property has a three bedroom, two bathroom house with two garages, four car ports and outside buildings comprising five separate rooms with kitchen and bathroom, priced at R1.85 million. The other includes a three bedroom, two bathroom home,
however the intrinsic value of this property lies in the size of the stand. This property is priced at R1.2 million.

Issued by Gaye de Villiers

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