Although many regard the small Mpumalanga town of Lydenburg as merely a place to stop over when visiting the province’s more famous sites, property sales in the area indicate that the demand for homes is on the increase and this is helping to maintain average price growth.
There have been 22 transfers in the last three months. The average price paid for a freehold property is currently R1.075-million and the sectional title average thus far this year is around the R755 000 mark. Market stock is predominantly freehold, with 87 percent of property falling into this sector of the market.
The stats further reveal that in 2011 there were a total of 140 sales, which indicates that demand is on the increase when compared to the 104 sales concluded in 2010. The highest price paid for a property in 2011 was R4.5-million.
In terms of new development, just over 20 percent of the property sold during 2011 fell into the first time sales segment, perhaps indicating that consumer confidence is firmly entrenched in the area. This becomes even more evident when comparing the sales figures recorded in previous years. In 2011, a total of R124-million worth of property was sold, compared to the R84-million sold in 2010. Price averages too have continued to increase and have shown consistent growth since 2004.
The banks are also showing renewed confidence in the area and last year approved some R106-million worth of finance. Bank repossessions in the town have dropped significantly and although 13 homes were sold in execution in 2009, there were only three forced sales last year.
Built on the backbone of the gold industry which took South Africa by storm in the 1800s, the town has undergone numerous changes over the years. Regarded as the jewel of the Thaba Chweu Municipality, the area has become well-known as a mining and agricultural centre as well as becoming a renowned fly fishing destination.
Located in the foothills of the famous Long Tom Pass, the town has a wealth of accommodation for those who wish to explore the region. Steeped in Voortrekker history, much of the town’s architecture offers a delightful insight into what life was like during this interesting period. An early Voortrekker school, which was founded shortly after the formation of the town in 1851, is one such example. Constructed using raw clay bricks and clay with a floor made from dung, the school was in use until the outbreak of the 2nd Boer War in 1899. It was declared a National Monument in 1974.