Burgersfort weathers platinum woes

Labour unrest in the platinum sector has had no negative repercussions in Burgersfort's burgeoning real estate market.

On the contrary, says Elsa de Bruyn of the local RealNet franchise, it is expected that higher wages will enable many more mine workers at the platinum mines near the town to buy homes of their own.

And the latest trend in the growing Limpopo mining town, she says, is indeed that local mines are scaling down outright purchases of property for their employees and switching to subsidy schemes to enable workers to buy their own homes.

"Higher wages, coupled to a housing subsidy, will now put starter homes - already a hot property choice in Burgersfort - within reach of many more mine workers," she says.

She expects affordable units in the new Villas Platino development to be particularly popular. Her agency has just started marketing units off-plan in the first phase of the project and has sold 50 of the 180 units in the first phase in short order.

The developer will start building as soon as the phase is sold out, with a targeted date before the end of the year.

Prices start at R399 000, all inclusive, for one-bedroom stack units, with two-bedroom units ranging from R479 000 to R509 000 depending on whether it is a unit on the second floor or a ground-floor unit with a garden.

The cheapest three-bedroom units are priced at R699 000 while those on the top floor with a loft, which can double as an extra bedroom, are priced at R749 000. Ground-floor units with a garden sell at R789 000.

De Bruyn says the units represent excellent value. Although units are compact, finishes are of high quality and include wooden floors, aluminium window frames and air conditioners.

Investors are also targeting the units in Villas Platino, she says, since a serious shortage of housing has seen rentals increase exponentially. Investors can confidently expect rentals of about R4500 per month on the R399 000 one-bedroom units and between R5500 and R6000 per month for two-bedroom units. Three-bedroom units will easily achieve rentals of between R6500 and R7500.

She adds that stands and building packages in the established Spekboom River estate remain popular among middle-income mine workers, employees at businesses in the mining supply sector, as well as Gauteng investors. Prices of stands start at R350 000 while an all-inclusive building package for a three-bedroom family home is priced at about R1m.

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