RE/MAX Suburb Trend Report - Nelspruit

Area history

Situated in Mpumalanga in the South African lowveld, the Nelspruit area attracted farmers due to the water supply and natural richness of the soil. The Nel family decided to settle here along the Crocodile River in 1905, and the town Nelspruit was named after them.

Over time, Nelspruit became one of the largest producers of tobacco, litchis, mangoes and avocados, among other produce. In 1940, Nelspruit became a municipality of Mbombela, which is a Swati word that means many people together in a small place. In 2009, the government changed the name of the town to Mbombela, although many still refer to it as Nelspruit.

Nelspruit is a flourishing town that is considered to be one of the fastest growing areas in the country.
From rustic farming beginnings, Nelspruit has evolved into a booming centre of industry and economic growth. Aside from being a tourist hotspot, one of the city’s most valuable assets is its convenient location. The closest airport to the exceptionally popular Kruger National Park, the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, is situated just outside Mbombela. The city is also known as the gateway to some of South Africa’s neighbouring countries – the N4 highway, which passes through Mbombela, heads east towards Mozambique, and it is also en route to Swaziland from either Johannesburg or Pretoria.

Area property information

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that although the residential property market in Nelspruit felt the knock-on effects of the recession, it has managed to hold its own and the upturn in the market is definitely starting to trickle through. “The area’s property market has experienced growth due to the fact that a number of blue chip companies are relocating or opening regional offices in Mbombela, which is boosting market activity. The inflow of new residents employed by these companies has boosted activity in the residential market in Mbombela.”

This is supported by data gleaned from Lightstone, which shows that close on 58% of existing owners have been in their homes for less than five years. Just over 34% of recent buyers have been aged between 18 and 35 years old.

Approximately 45% of property in Mbombela is sectional title, with freehold homes making up 40% of the market, and estates accounting for close on 15% of properties here.

Property price trends

Demand for property

Sectional title property seems to be by far the most popular choice among buyers in the area, with 81 transfers having taken place between November 2011 and October this year, almost double that of freehold  homes where 42 transfers took place. Only 21 estate transfers took place.

The lower to middle end of the market is where the biggest property movement can be seen, with 50% of all transfers taking place in the R400 000 or less price category. The highest demand seems to be for the lower priced sectional title units, with 54 of the 81 sectional title transfers taking place in the R400 000 or less price band. In the freehold sector, most of the property transfers took place in the R800 000 to R1.5million price band, indicating the demand for well priced family homes.

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