Increasing interest among home buyers
Estcourt is poised to become a key hub in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands with a new cultural village about to open its doors, a 100-unit Lifestyle Retirement Village just launched and considerable commercial expansion under way, says Alan Jennings, area principal for Pam Golding Properties.
The latter includes an expansion programme by the local Nestle factory, scheduled to commence in 2008, a new shopping centre for Pick 'n Pay and new outlets for Scooters Pizza, Wimpy and Nandos. In addition, a large shopping centre is planned for a location on the nearby Giants Castle Road. The Bushmans River Tourism Association is also developing aTourism Route through the area, in conjunction with Open Africa and the Umthezi Municipality. This will boost tourism, create employment opportunities and impact positively on growth in the local economy.
"In addition, there is a growing trend towards home buyers seeking properties in Estcourt with a view to commuting to work daily in the Pietermaritzburg and Howick areas," says Jennings. "Increasingly they are turning their attention to Estcourt as a location for permanent residence, attracted by the value for money of lower priced homes here, where a top end house sells for approximately R900 000. As there's still a shortage of rental accommodation, this has sparked a few new residential developments which are in the planning stages." In addition, at the new Lifestyle Retirement Village, PGP are marketing units priced between R1.5 million and R2 million.
"The road between Estcourt and these surrounding areas is in very good condition and Pietermaritzburg is a comfortable 50 minute drive. Estcourt is also very well positioned, with Treverton Private School only 25km away and a bus transporting pupils daily," says Jennings.
He says the commercial property market in Estcourt is very buoyant, particularly in the centre of town and such premises - when they do become available - fetch good prices. PGP recently sold a 1400sqm industrial property for R1.25 million which will accommodate a new factory for the Johannesburg based Cereal & Malt. Currently under construction, this will provide liquid extracts to the food industry. It is anticipated that the factory will employ some 15 people and that it will be operational during the second quarter of 2008. "We foresee that this development will benefit the local economy not just in terms of jobs created but also in ancillary services," says Cereal & Malt MD David Carroll.
The new cultural village for Estcourt, situated in a gorge adjacent to a flowing river and with abundant bird and plant life, is expected to arouse considerable interest, particularly for traditional weddings. The village will accommodate guests in traditional beehive huts, however these will all be en suite with underfloor heating. There will also be a privately situated honeymoon suite with an outdoor bush shower.