New Germany Appeals to First-time Buyers

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Although opinions as to the beginnings of the area seem to vary, the history of the Pinetown suburb of New Germany began when a German clergyman - Reverend Posselt - built a Lutheran Church mission in the area in 1848.

The initial settlers were impoverished German immigrants who had left Germany in search of greener pastures and having secured land in the area, began to grow cotton. This however, proved disastrous as conditions for cotton farming were unfavourable and the fields were later re-planted with vegetables.

The suburb is centrally situated and offers residents easy access to both Durban and Pietermaritzburg. As New Germany’s industrial sector started to grow in the Apartheid era, the demand for reasonably-priced homes for whites working in the area became paramount.

In the early 1990s the demographics within the area began to change, and with the adoption of the new democratic constitution, the area proved to be a popular choice for emerging-market entrants, who under the apartheid regime, had been excluded from purchasing property in former ‘white only’ areas.

The area boasts two primary schools namely New Germany Primary School which was established in 1974 and Lyndhurst Primary School, which was built later in the 1980s to house the increasing number of children living in the suburb. In more recent times local residents have petitioned the education department to build a high school due to ever-increasing demands in terms of education. However, there is concern about the site that has been demarcated for this purpose, as to whether or not the location is suitable for a school. It remains to be seen what the outcome will be.

Residential property is often deemed more affordable in New Germany and there has been substantial growth in terms of property development in recent years. With new developments and complexes being built in order to meet supply due to broadening demand, the residential property market has remained stable.

According to statistics recently released by Lightstone, there have been 115 transfers in the area in the last 12 months. The average price paid for a freehold property was R767 000 and the sectional title average paid was R585 000. Buyers in the area who are aged between 18-35 years made up 40.5% of recent purchasers. Price averages have remained stable since 2007 and it seems that the recent property slowdown has not had much affect on property price stability in this area.

With its prime location in terms of employment, good junior schools, a well-established country club and the fact that the commercial centre of Pinetown is just a few kilometres down the road, New Germany is set to retain its appeal with first-time buyers and those who are looking for well-priced, affordable property.

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