Nelspruit - more than just a gateway to the Kruger National Park

Area history

Often referred to as the gateway to the Kruger National Park, the city of Nelspruit is situated in north-eastern South Africa. Officially renamed Mbombela, the city acts as the capital of the Mpumalanga province and is regarded as the manufacturing and agricultural hub of the region. Situated in the fertile valley of the Crocodile River, the area’s subtropical climate makes it the ideal environment for growing citrus and tropical fruit, which is why many orange farms can be found here.

4 Bedroom House for sale in Matumi Golf Estate, Nelspruit

While evidence exists that the area was first inhabited by early San tribes, Nelspruit was officially founded in 1895 by three brothers from the Nel family. The brothers initially used the region as grazing land for their cattle during the winter months. Nelspruit would later serve as the seat of government during the Boer War for an independent Boer republic known as the South African Republic, which was led by Paul Kruger.

Today Nelspruit forms a part of the Mbombela Local Municipality, which is an administrative area in the Ehlanzeni District of Mpumalanga.

Area property information

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that unlike most other regions in South Africa, property prices in Nelspruit were not negatively impacted by the economic slow-down experienced post 2008. In fact, between 2008 and 2009 the average price of a freehold property jumped from R551 000 to R735 000. Property prices have seen marginal but steady increases over the last three years, with both freehold and sectional title unit prices experiencing record highs in 2013.

3 Bedroom House for sale in Sonheuwel, Nelspruit

According to Lightstone data, property in Nelspruit consists of 56.52% freehold homes, 24.07% estates and 19.42% sectional title units. Goslett says that between 2004 and 2007 the number of property transactions in the area was remarkably high with over 2000 homes sold each year. Sales volumes dropped in 2008 and again in 2009, while still remaining relatively high when compared to other regions. He notes that in 2010 sales numbers increased and have been growing ever since.

The largest demographic of buyer in the area is currently made up of consumers aged between 18 and 35 years old. This group accounts for around 40.67% of recent buying activity. Consumers between the ages of 36 and 49 years old have also been active in the market, representing 39.37% of recent buyers. These consumers also represent the largest group of existing homeowners in the area (44.88%), as well as the biggest group of recent sellers (47.37%).

Property price trends

Demand for property

According to Goslett, around 35.4% of properties sold in Nelspruit between February 2013 and January 2014 were those priced between R400 000 and R800 000, while 30.5% were priced between R800 000 and R1.5 million. He notes that 22.1% of properties sold during this period were priced below R400 000, while around 11.1% were priced between R1.5 million and R3 million. Only 0.9% of properties sold during this timeframe were priced for more than R3 million.

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