There’s property gold in Welkom

The Welkom property market is confounding critics by continuing to show solid growth and good investment potential.

That’s in spite of the fluctuating gold price, downscaling of mining activities and the decline in the property markets of most other centres, says Flip Meintjies of ERA Goldfields, one of the latest additions to the ERA South Africa property group’s portfolio of offices.

Meintjies and wife Hetta head up the new office which opened in Riebeeckstad in July. They bring with them extensive experience in the local property market which they are now turning to good account under the ERA banner. The office has already secured good mandates and Meintjies is optimistic.

“The Welkom economy is sensitive to the gold price for obvious reasons but it has become more diversified in recent years and the property market has benefited accordingly,” he adds.

There are an estimated 30 000 residential properties in the goldfields town which lies in the central Free State, positioned roughly equidistant from Bloemfontein and Potchefstroom. Quality of life is a feature with the centre being relatively congestion and crime free. Amenities are excellent. The town has a blue-collar image but that too is changing, says Meintjies.

“Nonetheless value remains probably the biggest message of this market. You can still acquire a three bedroom former mine house in suburb such as Dagbreek, Riebeekstad or Odendaalsrus for as little as R275 000. There’s nothing comparable anywhere else in South Africa.

“On the other hand there are multimillion-rand mansions in suburbs such as Jan Cilliers, Jim Fouchepark and Riebeeckstad , so this is very much a full spectrum market with a wide variety of choice and pricing.

Excellent medical facilities such as the Ernest Oppenheimer Hospital, Mediclinic and St Helena Private Hospital also exist in Welkom and the town may well become the next big retirement mecca. “Indeed, our new-found status in this respect adds to the stability of the local market, helping to ensure that it remains on a healthier footing than in the past when its fortunes rose and fell in line with the gold price,” Meintjies says.

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