Areas and Places

All roads lead to Middelburg in the heart of the coal mining industry

In prime location next to Middelburg Mall, this quality office building is priced at R22.1 million through Pam Golding Properties.

With some 60 listed and privately owned mines, most of which are fully operational, Middelburg’s location in the heart of the coal mining industry – ideally positioned between Gauteng, the Lowveld and Mozambique, is having a meaningful and positive bearing on the various sectors of the property market, according to Chris de Jager, Pam Golding Properties agent in Middelburg.

“Economic growth in the Middelburg area in general has presented considerable business opportunities, including those in the commercial and residential property market. A notable factor contributing to the ongoing growth and increased demand in all three sectors – namely retail, office and residential property – is that Middelburg Town Council is rated one of the top five in the country, achieving a consistently clean audit over the past five years. Coupled with this is a high standard of service and infrastructure – considered among the best available in Mpumalanga, and arguably in the country.”

“While the tariff hike and load shedding by Eskom has negatively impacted most markets, Middelburg’s overall performance from a service delivery perspective has enabled accurate planning and cash flow projections. With a zero interruption in service delivery, businesses can plan ahead and be assured of sustainable and productive working days. And in addressing the challenges of energy shortages in the traditional energy sector, property owners are turning to green and alternative energy solutions. We are seeing this with features like solar panel installations and water recycling and purification systems becoming a common feature.”

He says a key trend perceived in the market is that industries from towns around Middelburg are relocating to the area, especially those in mining equipment and related maintenance companies such as Bell Equipment, Barloworld Equipment and Volvo Trucks. As a result of Middelburg Council’s clean bill of health, the demand for top quality office space has also improved, particularly in close proximity to the industrial area, Vaalbank and the new Middelburg Mall, which is just 2km off the N4 next to the Aerorand residential area.

“It makes sound business sense to invest in the fast growing and vibrant Middelburg while serviced land is still available and property prices affordable. Noteworthy transactions concluded during the last few months include the sale of a medium-sized industrial building on a 4000sqm stand in the heart of Vaalbank which we sold for R5.4 million to buyers from Secunda, who plan to consolidate their three business operations under one roof. The premises, which include a workshop, large store area, spacious counter sales area and ample office space, exceeded their expectations for the growth of a sustainable, trend-setting business which more than meets the standards expected by their customers, thereby assisting in competing for tenders.”

Other properties which are currently in high demand include heavy industrial premises ranging from 1500sqm in size and suitable for engineering and manufacturing plants, vacant land for retail use in the region of 10 000sqm, and office space of around 700sqm.

Says de Jager: “Currently a new development well placed next to Middelburg Mall and ideal for office space development or retail activities offers vacant land from 2600-10 500sqm priced from R3.7 million to R17 million. For smaller users, a secure industrial park comprising mini-factories with office space sees sectional title space with a workshop of at least 700sqm, offices, kitchen, bathrooms, covered parking for four vehicles plus customer parking for six vehicles and a yard of about 300sqm selling from R6 million each. The industrial park is access controlled with 24 hour security, with eight of the units sold in phase one and three of the eight units sold in the second phase. From an investor perspective the industrial park is proving an excellent performer with landlords achieving up to 20 percent return on rental units”.

“All these factors in turn have resulted in an increased demand for good housing in residential property in security estates among those working in the Middelburg area or moving in, preferring to live here and commute to places of employment in neighbouring towns.”

In the residential property market growth in both the sales and rental markets is being experienced with rentals very active as many families relocating want to get to know the various suburbs before making a purchase decision. The price range most in demand is from R1.5 million to R3 million. Sales in security estates are reflecting consistent year on year growth, particularly in the Clubville area in developments such as Roberts and Midlands Estates. In sought-after Roberts Estate, a vacant stand of 1100sqm in the new waterfront phase was recently sold by Pam Golding Properties to a Johannesburg business executive for R1.25 million.

Worth noting is that residential properties for under R2 million – if available – are also performing above the national average for house prices, achieving 9-11 percent growth in value. At present Pam Golding Properties is selling stands of 550sqm on the waterfront in Roberts Estate in the price range from R650 000 to R1 million.

De Jager adds that as a consequence of increased tourism to South Africa, the demand for game farms and game lodges has accelerated, further driven by the excellent prices game is achieving on the open market. “There will always be a huge demand on the overseas and local markets for game lodges and weekend getaways in wildlife destinations such as this, particularly as this is a malaria-free area. Typically buyers originate from Gauteng, Europe or America.”

Currently PGP is marketing a game lodge and conference centre – sold as a going concern, located 40km from Middelburg en route to Groblersdal. Ideal for an investor or a weekend, family game lodge, the fully fenced property is 1607.8ha in extent with a conference hall / wedding reception venue catering for up to 100 guests, 18 fully-equipped self-catering chalets, a double-story main house plus three fully equipped houses, two isolated bush camps, lapa, two swimming pools, store room and cold room. Facilities include 4X4 trails, game drives and bird watching – with 118 species, while game includes an abundance of antelope, brown hyena, leopard, giraffe, buffalo, kudu, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, eland, waterbuck, impala and zebras. The property is priced at R29.4 million (excluding VAT).