Aida has further extended its footprint in South Africa's rural areas by opening a new franchise in Groblersdal.
The office is owned by Thea du Plessis and the franchise area includes the Groblersdal and Marble Hall districts.
Aida's CEO Jan Davel says the franchise is part of the company's drive to take Aida's expertise built up over almost 50 years to property consumers in the platteland. "We are fine-tuning our offering and are striving for a healthy balance between consolidation of our current activities and expansion into areas where home buyers and sellers have not in the past enjoyed the benefits associated with a trusted household name in property matters," he says.
Du Plessis says her office made a quick impact on the local market and concluded its first sale shortly after opening by selling a home to the mayor of Groblersdal. "We have also built up an impressive stock list, including several farms, and have appointed six agents, two of whom specialise in agricultural sales," she says.
The area has a thriving agricultural economy thanks to productive soil and the Loskop Dam irrigation scheme, which make intensive cultivation of grapes, oranges, vegetables, wheat and tobacco possible.
Du Plessis says farmland sells at between R7500 and R8000/ha for undeveloped land. "Prices obviously rise when improvements have been made. For instance, we have a 65ha farm with a house, outbuildings and citrus orchards on our books for R1,2m"
However prices of residential property in the area fluctuate considerably.
By way of example Du Plessis says a family home that would sell for around R900 000 in Groblersdal could be as much as R150 000 cheaper in neighbouring Marble Hall.
"Meanwhile, with the extended activities of the local platinum mine, residential property is in high demand and there is a noticeable lack of affordable housing. One of our aims is to bring more affordable stock to the market and we are already negotiating a townhouse development on a riverfront property."
She says there is still ample land available for new residential development and the Groblersdal local authority has recently put a 800-unit development out to tender. "New retail developments in Groblersdal and Marble Hall, both of which are getting new mini malls, are also expected to boost the local property market in the longer term."