With its undulating country landscapes and more relaxed lifestyle, Pietermaritzburg and the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, including areas such as Hilton and Howick, have in recent years experienced burgeoning growth in the residential property market, says Barbara Becker, Pam Golding Properties area principal.
Becker was marking the 25th anniversary of the launch of this, the company’s first area to be franchised and which in so doing, introduced an alternative to the existing company-owned offices which have now been in place for almost 45 years
Says Becker: “Having opened our doors back in 1993, we then had to contend with a really tough market challenged by rising interest rates which surged to the 20-25% range between 1996 and 1999.
Back in those days a two-bedroomed apartment would cost around R100 000 – today being in the region of R600 000, while a four-bedroomed house costing R250 000 then would currently cost R2.5 million. A top sale in the sought-after Pietermaritzburg suburb of Montrose in August 1994 for R470 000 would now fetch in the region of R3 million.
“Currently the average selling price for a home in a sectional title development is just over R809 000, while the median price for vacant land – mainly in estates – is just under R1.254 million. The average selling price for houses is just below R1.316 million, while homes within secure estates and residential developments generally sell at a premium compared with single homes in the suburbs.”
Becker says some of the most popular developments include Pietermaritzburg Victoria Country Club Estate where vacant land sells between R800 000 and R1.5 million and houses from R3 million to R10 million, and The Gates in Hilton where vacant land goes for up to R2 million and houses up to R15 million. In Five Acres, a sectional title development in Pietermaritzburg, units sell for around R12 500 per square metre. In regard to new commercial premises, those sold as a ‘shell’ with no finishes achieve prices of around R17 000 per square metre.
“Today we have 30 agents spread through the Pietermaritzburg area as well as the nearby towns of Hilton and Howick. Hilton has expanded rapidly with popular upmarket estates like Garlington, The Gates and Mount Verde, while we’ve also seen commercial growth and a new hospital recently opened – Hilton Life Private Hospital.
“Over the years we’ve seen trends in residential property move towards convenient, secure accommodation from sectional apartment blocks to large golf, wildlife and lifestyle estates where residents can enjoy a live, work, play lifestyle.”
Becker adds: “With its excellent schools, Pietermaritzburg and the Midlands continue to be a popular area among home buyers and, being the capital and the second largest city in KZN, it has many government employees who require accommodation. In addition, our convenient, local airport makes commuting to Johannesburg very easy and is well-frequented by business people residing here.”
Pictures above: Barbara Becker (right) and daughter Belinda Driemeyer, area principals for Pam Golding Properties Pietermaritzburg, seen at a recent celebration marking the 25-year milestone.
News supplied by Pam Golding Properties.