Property professionals in the Northern Cape say those who made early investments in the residential property market in this region are to benefit from the international exposure the area is currently enjoying.
Popularly frequented by travellers passing through, it is en route to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Augrabies National Park and Falls, Namaqualand flowers, Namibia and the Richtersveld. And from a permanent housing perspective, agents say the town of Upington in particular is seeing demand for good quality property, both for rental and purchasing purposes, to be outstripping supply. Predictions are that property owners should see healthy capital returns as a result of the town doubling in size over the next two years.
The Northern Cape, renown with a reputation as SA’s astronomy hub of international significance, has led to two large projects being awarded to the region. One being Eskom’s new solar power plant awarded to Upington, the other the shared-awarding Square Kilometer Array project, possibly for location in Carnarvon. As a result of these projects, the area is seeing an influx of skilled employees of new businesses in the fields of science, engineering, technology, and artisanry.
Pam Golding Properties franchisee owner Filon Smith says luxury homes are snapped up by mining executives employed in Katu, Buffelshoek and Kuruman who relocate their families to Upington, and stock below R1-million is almost non-existent. Smit says heavy demand for houses priced at over R1-million remains, with property owners seeing returns on investments of between 8 to 10 percent per annum. Also feeding the tourism market resulting from the unique location and extreme summer temperatures is the regular flow of technical experts from Germany, for the testing of BMW and Mercedes Benz vehicles.
The need for additional housing in the area might see facilitation by corporate players possibly in the form of temporary housing, says principal owner of ERA Properties in Upington, Dirk Myburgh. He says the town would benefit hugely from the local municipality demarcating and releasing additional residential property for development, as there is a need to accommodate new residents, some who are re-locating contractors and hospital personnel with families. Myburgh says upmarket homes are snapped up by senior corporate employees who rent or buy, and property owners of luxury homes wise to high levels of demand are already increasing rentals in view of future prospects. Increased occupancy is also seen at the recently expanded local hotel that caters for commuting work professionals who make the 180 km road trip between Upington and Puffadder twice daily during visits.
Seeff Upington Licensee, André Mostert says increased demand, in particular for rental property is seen, as well as buyers from wide and as far as Johannesburg and Cape Town. "Development is starting to boom and the town is expected to double in size over the next five years. Some of the development includes two new shopping malls, a new provincial hospital and the development of the airport into an international cargo hub.”
Mostert says prices of standard three bed room homes here range from R800,000 to R1 million and upper range housing is fast becoming a scarce commodity, while older homes around the R500,000 to R600,000 price mark ideal for first time buyers, can sell within 48 hours. He says the area offers excellent new entry level housing development, as well as for buy-to-let investors wishing to capitalise from growing rental demand.