Things are Looking Rosy in Bloemfontein

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

The “fountain of flowers”, or the “city of roses” - known to us all as Bloemfontein, is situated on the southern edge of the Highveld and borders the semi-arid Karoo.

Steeped in Voortrekker history and declared to be the Voortrekker Republic along with the then Orange Free State, a convention held in Bloemfontein in 1854 deemed the Republic independent, as long as its residents acknowledged the ultimate sovereignty of the British Government.

The tides were to turn however and in January 1912, Pixley Msimang and George Montsio rallied the troops and called for a convention of the African people to form the South African Native National Congress (SANNC). With 100 delegates in attendance, the SANNC was formed and was later renamed - the African National Congress (ANC) in Bloemfontein in 1923. It was to be the beginning of the long walk to freedom.

Some of the nations most revered celebrities hail from the city of roses. Zola Budd, born in Bloemfontein on 16th May 1966, went on to hold a number of world records as well as competing in the 1984 Olympics amidst much controversy. The author JRR Tolkien who wrote “The Hobbit” and “Lord of the Rings” was born in Bloemfontein in 1892. These highly acclaimed novels have in recent years hit the big screen and became one of the greatest box office successes of all time. The movies have gone on to become the highest-grossing films in the history of New Line Cinema and Time Warner.

The city is also home to the famed Free State stadium. The renovated grounds hosted some of the 2010 FIFA World Cup games. Boasting some of the country’s most passionate and fanatical football supporters, the stadium hosted six 2010 World Cup matches. Unlike other stadiums that may have the potential to become white elephants, this sporting arena is often a mass of green and white when the local Bloemfontein Celtic team play at the grounds. The stadium is also the home ground of the Cheetahs provincial rugby team.

In terms of property, when comparing some of the popular residential suburbs in Bloemfontein Lightstone statistics reveal that Langenhoven Park had a total of 281 property transfers take place in the last 12 months. Price averages dominated in the freehold sector of the market at R1.48m, and sectional title averages came in at R726 000. Sectional title dwellings proved more popular and made up 72.26% of market share in the suburb.

Westdene, on the other hand, had an average price for freehold property of R1.5m with the sectional title price average at a more affordable R438 000. There were a total of 64 transfers in the suburb, with sectional title sales exceeding freehold sale’s volumes by a substantial margin.

With a population of over 500 000 people, the city has become a business hub and real estate agents in the area report that there is a shortage of affordable residential property across the board. In Bloemfontein, hive-living has become au courant, with several generations from one family residing in co-habitation and with multiple dwellings accommodating their housing needs on one property.

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