Douglas, a small agricultural town in the Northern Cape is perfectly situated at the junction of both the Orange and the Vaal Rivers, the largest river and largest tributary in the country respectively. With the famous adventure trips along the Orange River a stone's throw away, Douglas may be small but it's conveniently placed in the centre of water-filled activity.
Recent data from Lightstone Property reveals a number of statistics about the current homeowners and recent buyers in Douglas. Not surprisingly, between February 2018, and January 2019, 44% of stable owners were aged 65 years and older, while 35% were aged 50 to 64 years. Only 18% were middle aged (36 to 49) and a mere 3% were classified as youth/adult at 18 - 35 years of age. This trend continues as 26% of recent buyers are contained to the middle aged group at 26%, but the majority or recent buyers sits with the youth group at 60%. So while the majority of stable owners are older, the majority of new buyers are at the youngest end of the spectrum.
The length of home ownership continues the above trend, where the majority of existing or stable owners (84%) have lived in their current home for 11 years or more, whereas the rest of the existing owners have lived in their homes for 10 years or less. While the majority of stable owners have stayed for 11 years or more, the majority of recent sellers (57%) are also in this group having been residents for over 11 years.
Popular property types according to transfer information
While Douglas can be considered a small and remote town, it offers everything a big city would; freehold property, sectional title schemes, estate units and vacant land. A total of 51 transfers were recorded in the area between February 2018 and January 2019. The most popular property type in Douglas, according to Lightstone date, is freehold homes. Over the last year, 43 freestanding properties have been sold; 19 with a total value of R21 million, 14 with a total value of R1.6 million, 5 with a total value of R3.3 million, 4 with a total value of R6.3 million and 1 to the value of R3.1 million. These were all repeat sales.
The second most popular property type is freehold vacant land, a total of eight units were sold over the last year, six to the value of R1.5 million and two to the value of R1.1 million value of R25 683 000, sold to repeat buyers.
House price growth
Freehold property prices have steadily increased from 2008 until 2018, while vacant land has had its ups and downs over the same period. In 2008, freehold property’s were on average R372,000, and in 2018, buyers were paying an average of just under R1 million. The price of vacant land was on average R750,000 in 2008, which then increased to R188,000 in 2011, then dipped back down to R75,000 in 2013 and finally up to R315,000 in 2018. Vacant land has gone through poorer price growth over the years, making it a more suitable option for those on the lower end of the buying market.
Both vacant land and freehold property registrations rose and fell between 2008 and 2018. Being a small town, in 2008 there were only 36 transfers for freehold properties and 9 transfers for vacant land, in 2011 these numbers dipped to 36 transfers for freehold properties and only 2 for transfers for vacant land, and then rose again to 44 transfers for freehold properties and 8 transfers for vacant land in 2018.
An agricultural town filled with adventure
Despite being located in the Northern Cape, known for being a dry and arid region, Douglas is surrounded by water, and is ideal for couples and families who love the outdoor life. From fishing in the Vaal River, to river rafting and camping along the Orange River, residents are spoilt with adventure, an abundance of local fish and birdlife -- and with over 2000 mm of rainfall at the Orange River’s source per year -- fertile farmland.
The town is home to 11 schools, ranging from primary to intermediate all the way to high school, and while Afrikaans is the dominant language, English and Tswana are spoken too. Douglas has a climate perfectly suited for spending time outdoors, and experiences summer rainfall, with its peak rainy season from around December through to March. Temperatures average at 32°C in January, and 18°C in June, making it the perfect place for outdoor activity almost all year round. With its warm climate, lush vegetation and numerous opportunities for having fun outside, Douglas is the perfect spot for all generations to find their perfect home.