Karoo gems offer top-end benefits

Cindy Preller

A BOUQUET of towns with charming homes and historical buildings. This is what the Karoo has to offer property investors looking for residential, commercial and/or agricultural properties.

Pam Golding Properties manager for the Karoo region, Wayne Rubidge, said the move to the country remained a big factor and a solid growth pattern had been achieved in the area’s property market over the past 10 years.

“The Karoo is well positioned both geographically as a region and physiologically among a very diverse range of buyers, also due to its renowned safety, low population density and quality of life. Renowned for its well-priced homes and picturesque towns, the Karoo also offers niche commercial opportunities,” Rubidge said.

He said the rejuvenating of many of the towns’ centres were leading to good sales of commercial and historical buildings. In the past six months, commercial buildings in the top-end Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet, for instance, sold for R2.5-million and R3.5- million.

“As the commercial hubs are concentrated in the centre of most of the towns, there is limited availability of buildings, which provides for a sound capital investment and increasing rental income.

“Both properties that were sold in Graaff-Reinet have between four to five shops that are renting in the complexes. It is prime spots right in the centre of the town that will give a good return on investment,” Rubidge said.

Some of the 40 Karoo towns that he identified as hotspots where well-priced homes were still within an investors’ reach, were towns like Richmond, Bedford, Middelburg, Somerset-East, Molteno and Lady Grey. He said homes could still be bought in some of these towns for between R250000 and R350000 and businesses for between R550000 and R650000.

Andrew McNaughton from Seeff Properties in Graaff-Reinet said there was a “feeling of confidence” in especially Graaff-Reinet, where the residential market was growing.

“People come here either to retire, to educate their children or to live here and enjoy the farming, tourism or recreational industries around town. There is a shortage of rental homes available in town,” McNaughton said.

He said two big retailers were opening new stores in Graaff-Reinet, the Department of Education was building a four-storey office block and the expansion of the Drostdy Hotel was also on the cards.

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