Areas and Places

Macadamia nuts, horses and game make Mbombela a popular choice

Agricultural property around Mbombela is in high demand currently, with investors snapping up properties on which they can farm macadamia nuts, horses and game, as well as lifestyle farms where they can just relax and enjoy the lowveld lifestyle.

That’s the word from Juan Botha, owner of leading local estate agency RealNet Anker, who says: “We have seen a significant increase in the purchase of farms and smallholdings in recent months.

“Macadamia nut farming in particular has become a popular pastime for ‘weekend’ farmers and there has also been some turnover of large commercial farming concerns, which indicates that the market is optimistic about the future of farming,” he says.

“There is currently quite a variety of farming properties on the local market, at prices starting from around R3m and ranging upwards to R15m and more. Sizes and amenities vary greatly, but here you can even acquire your own game reserve, and larger commercial concerns go from R5,5m to R30m.”

One of SA’s fastest-expanding economic regions with its own international airport, Mbombela is the capital of Mpumalanga and is now attracting a significant number of new permanent residents from Gauteng and Mozambique.

Botha says the mild climate and laid-back lifestyle are among the factors that make it a desirable destination, but that the city also offers a growing number of employment and business opportunities due to its location on the N4 transport corridor and tourism route that runs between Gauteng and Mozambique.

“There is also a division of the High Court here and a new university, and an increasing number of blue chip companies now have branch or regional offices in Mbombela. In addition, the area is a mecca for mountain bike riders and eco-tourists, thanks to its proximity to the Kruger National Park and many other natural attractions.”

In short, he says, the city is thriving, and the demand for housing continues to rise. “At the moment, agents are in fact experiencing stock shortages in the R1,5m to R3m price range. The average home price in the most sought-after areas is now around R2,1m and the majority of buyers are young families in the 35 to 50 age bracket.

“We find that buyers from Gauteng prefer to buy in a security estate such as The Rest, where there is a private school on site and vacant stands are available at prices from R450 000.

“Matumi Golf Estate is also popular and here vacant stands are priced from R540 000, while large golf ‘lodges’ sell for upwards of R3m, and we currently have a well-appointed five-bedroom executive home for sale at R5,25m.