According to Paddy Judd, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Classic Homes in Nelspruit, buyers are turning to public and/or private auctions to purchase property in the Mpumalanga area.
“Given the current economic climate we’re in, it is understandable that enthusiastic buyers are turning to auctions to buy property. Buyers are definitely less interested in homes offered by genuine sellers who want to make a profit,” says Judd, who has 11 years experience in the property field. Although a steady upswing in general demand and sales volumes are noted in Mpumalanga, Judd advises sellers in the area to hold on to their property until the estate market has recovered from the downturn in South Africa’s economy.
“Buyers are very cautious. Many remember the struggles of high interest rates in the past,” she says. Refurbished homes are quite the fashion in Nelspruit these days. “People renovate their homes because they believe that they would add more value to their property,” adds Judd. Currently, an entry-level home in the Mpumalanga area reaches R650 000 with mid-level properties selling for R775 000. “Upmarket properties that would have been sold for approximately R1,5-million a year ago, now only reach between R890 000 and R1,1-million,” notes Judd, adding that most homes are sold in this price range. The townhouse market in Nelspruit, White River, Barberton and Hazyview however is flat. “Some homes are overpriced and most owners end up selling their property below market value,” she says.
Unlike previous years, there is a low demand for vacant land. “Currently, this end of the market is saturated,” says Judd. Commenting on the capital of Mpumalanga as an investment hub, Adrian Goslett, Assistant Regional Director of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that there are a number of factors that make Nelspruit desirable for investment. “Aside from the fact that Nelspruit is the trading centre for Mpumalanga’s citrus and tropical fruit farmers, the area’s favourable climate and surrounding scenic environment, large amenities and small town qualities make it an attractive cosmopolitan city that is economically viable. It’s also a popular tourist destination because it’s situated within proximity to the Kruger National Park,” Goslett concludes.