In the area 1 – Bronkhorstspruit

Kusile powers Bronkhorstspruit property

Eskom’s policy of employing local residents at its new Kusile power station has boosted the property market in surrounding towns.

The power station is being built roughly in the centre of a triangle formed by Witbank, Delmas and Bronkhorstspruit and is expected to create about 20 000 new job opportunities. As a result all three towns are experiencing an influx of new labour looking for accommodation, says Koos Pretorius of RealNet Kungwini.

“But Bronkhorstspruit, the small town just 30 minutes from Pretoria, is punching above it’s weight in this respect,” he says. “New employees and contractors at the power station seem to prefer the country atmosphere and clean air of this small town.”

Demand for residential units has supported house prices in town, reports Pretorius. “Prices have remained stable in spite of the recession and might even rise in the face of increasing pressure on stock. A large development of more than a thousand units that was supposed to have come on to the market by now has been delayed due to problems experienced by the developer.

“This is to the advantage of sellers, who also benefit from the fact that new Eskom employees can obtain bond finance directly from their employer, which cuts a lot of red tape associated with obtaining bonds through financial institutions.”

He adds that several sellers have, however, withdrawn their properties from the market with a view to renting them out thanks to increased demand for rental properties and monthly rentals that now range between R4000 and R6000.

Smaller developments on sub-divided “burgher erven” are slowly coming to the market at prices ranging between R650 000 and R850 000. However, says Pretorius, most of these units are outside the target price of between R500 000 and R700 000 that is sought-after by new Eskom employees.

At the same time, sales of luxury properties around the Bronkhorstspruit Dam have shown a dramatic surge thanks to falling interest rates. Pretorius says the area offers a superior lifestyle that attracts businessmen from as far afield as Pretoria and Johannesburg.

“It means a daily commute of just more than 30 minutes thanks to the N4 and N12 highways and many business people find this an acceptable trade-off,” he says.

Properties around the dam are priced from around R1m for two-bedroom units in security developments while luxury homes range into the multi-millions. For example, a 900sqm home with nine bedrooms, nine bathrooms and three fully-equipped kitchens is currently on the market at R7m.

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