Part of the Midlands Meander and home to the eponymous famous boys’ school, the small town of Hilton in KwaZulu-Natal continues to grow in popularity. Situated on the edge of an escarpment above Pietermaritzburg, the area is slightly colder than its close neighbour.
Ideal for those who want to live outside the busy metropolis, the area is beginning to prove attractive to young professionals as well as to the older, retired set. Reminiscent of an English village, the town boasts many spectacular properties and features everything from thatched cottages to more modern designs.
The town has a plethora of upmarket restaurants, craft shops and other browsers’ delights. It is also home to the Natal Railway Museum and hosts the colourful Flower Festival and Fuchsia Festival each year. The sheer beauty of the town has been drawing investors for years and this trend continues.
Statistics released by Lightstone reveal that there have been 103 transfers in the area in the last 12 months.The statistics further reveal that the average price paid for a freehold property in the area in the first quarter of 2012 was R1.341-million, up by R225 000 on the previous year.
Freehold property averages have risen consistently over the last three years. However, the same unfortunately cannot be said for property falling into the sectional title sector of the market. In 2010, the sectional title average came in at just under the R1.1-million mark, which declined to R990 000 in 2011 and even further to R905 000 in the first quarter of 2012.
Despite the drop in price, sales numbers in both sectors of the market are growing, and when compared to the 88 sales concluded in 2010, the increase is significant. The area, it seems, attracts the more mature set, with 58 percent of existing residents being over the age of 50 years. Some 52 percent of homeowners have resided in the area for eight years or more.
The banks have loaned just under R77-million for property transactions, with 89 of the 103 sales concluded in the area requiring bond finance. This is a far cry from the R170-million approved in bond finance in the area in 2007.
Magnificent homes, beautiful scenery and a close-knit community have all played their part in putting Hilton on the map and it is well worth the effort to take the time to go and see what all the fuss is all about.