Rarefied Belfast air reels in investors

Belfast in Mpumalanga's trout belt is no longer only a preferred destination for flyfishermen  but is also reeling in investors who anticipate a bright future for the town.

Interest in undeveloped stands, especially, started picking up a year ago, explains Francois de Villiers, owner of the RealNet franchise for Belfast and surrounds, but has accelerated recently thanks to the announcement that a new high-altitude training centre for athletes at the Belfast dam will go ahead.

The R400m project is an initiative of the Mpumalanga government and is expected to draw local and overseas athletes who elect to train at high altitude for international events.

Investors expect that demand for rental accommodation will spike once the facility opens and are buying undeveloped stands with a view to building suitable units, says De Villiers.

And stands are very attractively priced at the moment, he adds. Prices have dropped dramatically since the recession and “burger erven” of 2855sqm are now available at prices of between R150 000 and R250 000, depending on location and municipal services. This contrasts sharply with prices that started at around R250 000 before the recession hit.

De Villiers says local building costs vary between R4500/sqm for basic structures and R5000 to R8000/sqm for luxury homes. Municipal rates vary between about R100 and R300 a month.

Current buyers are mainly investors from Gauteng who have spare cash for the 40% deposit that banks require before financing undeveloped land, or investors who can buy stands outright for cash. Some new residents in town are, however, also starting to invest in stands.

De Villiers adds that some investors also expect a growth spurt for the town thanks to the proposed expansion of local coal mines, which would boost employment, and consequently the demand for housing.

He underwrites this view and predicts that Belfast may indeed become a second Middelburg as far as industrial development is concerned.

"Concerns that mining activities might adversely affect the town's leisure and tourism sectors are probably misplaced since any expansion is limited to outlying areas because of sensitive and protected wetlands around the town," he says.

The wetlands, many of which feature typical Highveld fauna and flora, remain a tourist attraction, while the many fishing spots and lodges and other establishments catering for flyfishermen remain popular among enthusiasts from Gauteng, who can reach the town within two hours for a convenient weekend getaway.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 19 Feb 2018
      Situated approximately halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, Midrand was established in 1981 and forms part of the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. It has become one of the major business hubs in the country with major pharmaceutical, textile, telecommunication and motoring giants situated within its boundaries.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      The PayProp Rental Index Annual Review of 2017 shows that the rental market suffered from much volatility during the year. It kicked off with rental growth spiking in January with weighted year-on-year growth (YoY) growth peaking at 8.3% before dropping to 6.34% in July, dipping down to less than 5% in November and then experiencing a slight uptick at 5.75% in December.
    • 19 Feb 2018
      While most homes in cluster complexes, estates and other gated communities come with at least one garage or carport, residents would often like additional permanent parking or storage areas for things like trailers, bikes, boats and caravans.
    • 16 Feb 2018
      Whether you own a property in a sectional title complex or are looking to invest in one, the financial standing of the body corporate is the single most important thing that can affect your investment or your buying decision.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      One positive consequence of the financial crash in 2008 was the rise in consumerism, especially in the property market, where buyers have steadily become more knowledgeable and more value conscious.
    • 15 Feb 2018
      While most homeowners will take the agent’s commission into consideration when they are trying to determine what the will get out from the sale of their property, many often forget to factor in the other costs involved in a home sale, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 14 Feb 2018
      The forecast for the national rental market in 2018 remains a mixed bag of good news and bad news. Although rentals are expected to rise slowly as the challenges of home affordability and tighter lending criteria tighten their grip, it’s a double-edged sword as the market also will come under increasing pressure from factors like declining disposable income levels.
    • 14 Feb 2018
      While you may not have intended to place your home on the market, what do you do if you receive an unexpected offer on your home? In areas where demand outweighs the current supply of homes available to buyers, it is not unheard of to have buyers make offers on homes that aren’t on the market, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us