Drakensberg's hot property
Property development is booming in KwaZulu-Natal's Southern Drakensberg, with residential and commercial property springing up on the doorstep of the country's most dramatic mountain range.

Underberg in particular is looking at major developments in the coming months with the construction of the Underberg Village Mall, first phase of which is due for completion in October.

Local estate agents are singing the praises of the area, although whether a shopping mall should really be a drawcard in amongst some of South Africa's most dramatic scenery remains to be seen.

"The Underberg/Himeville district is no sleepy valley — it is a vibrant community accommodating people of all ages and walks of life, yet has not lost the charm and tranquillity of country life, backed by a progressive farming community," says Angela Walker, joint area principal of Pam Golding Properties

"All pointers are towards investment in property in the Underberg and surrounding areas, such as Himeville, being a sound choice," adds Walker.

The new mall, which measures 5500sqm, will comprise 31 shops, with the anchor tenant being OK Grocer.

Pam Golding are currently marketing stands in three residential developments in the area, at prices ranging from R180 000 to R390 000.

"Buyers then need to contract with a builder to erect the unit within two years of purchase of the land. Due to the increasing demand, developers prepared to purchase vacant sites and erect units will have an excellent opportunity to dispose of the built units quickly," said Moira Bath, PGP's joint area principal.

The Meadows development has seen available sites selling for between R270 000 and R390 000 for an average of 1000sqm.

Estate agents are typically bullish about the area, with Bath pointing to a 3538sqm piece of land that sold for R685 000, a return on investment in excess of 600 percent over five years.

Agents also report increased interest in farms in the area, for both commercial farming and lifestyle investments.

"Smallholdings are currently in short supply, while the stock of residential homes —both to buy and rent — is also limited. However, new subdivisions of vacant land are coming on line as permission is given and zoning changed. Sites with good views are snapped up by buyers to build holiday homes or by retirees wanting to spend their leisure days viewing the magnificent mountains which dominate the skyline," Bath said.

Article fromy: http://iafrica.com