Named after the British monarch, Queen Victoria and nicknamed the ‘rose capital’ of South Africa, Queenstown, is currently regarded as the commercial, administrative and educational centre for much of the Eastern Cape region.
An extremely picturesque town, the area features extensive Victorian architecture and is famed for the beautiful gardens that are situated in and around the centre of this bustling metropolis. The town has grown substantially since it’s inception in 1853, due to its central locale in the heart of the Eastern Cape Province. In addition to being one of the area’s main business hubs, it also boasts a state-of-the-art private hospital.
In terms of residential property sales, statistics recently released by Lightstone reveal that there have been 50 property transfers in the area in the last 12 months. The average price paid for a freehold property was R1.044-million and the average price paid for a sectional title property was R457 000.
What is interesting about the sales statistics for this particular area is that price averages have increased quite dramatically since 2004, when the average price paid for a freehold property was R290 000 and the sectional title average came in at R152 000. Furthermore, the increase in price is reflected in the statistics, as the highest price paid for a property in Queenstown in 2011 was just over R5-million.
The stats reveal that the area has witnessed its fair share of casualties in terms of sales volumes since 2008 when 78 sales were concluded. By 2010 only 27 transfers had taken place. The picture, however, is changing somewhat and sales volumes are back on the rise, with a 60 percent increase in the number of sales occurring in 2011.
In terms of recent buyers in the area, a staggering 47 percent of them fell in the age category of 18-35 years old. This is no surprise when one takes into consideration the number of good schools in the area such as Queenstown Girl’s High School and the Royal Capital Private School.
The area also appears to appeal to the more mature homeowner, with 65 percent of existing property owners being over the age of 50 years. Homeowner’s who have chosen to make Queenstown their home, tend to reside in the area for a significant number of years, with 48 percent of residents having owned their property in the area for longer than 11 years. Market stock comprises mainly freehold property with 90 percent of property in the area falling into this sector.
In terms of tourism, apart from the beautiful scenery, this attractive town lies on the Komani River and offers a wealth of water sport activities. There are also a number of hiking trails and the area is ideal for those who enjoy mountain biking. It is the perfect spot for the outdoor enthusiast. In fact, one of the local’s most popular sayings is ‘as long as it involves all that is alfresco’.