With a recent 24-unit development, The Paddocks, selling out in six months and increasing commercial activity in the village, the scenic town of Clarens in the Free State is seeing growing interest in residential property, says Odette Parris, Pam Golding Properties agent in the area.
“Selling around the R1 million price mark, homes in the new development were taken up mainly by Gauteng buyers, who form a predominant sector of our market”.
“Located just outside Clarens, another development – an exclusive golf estate, is also experiencing ongoing interest due to its status and the fact that it provides residents with secure living in a tranquil and very scenic environment. Vacant stands are popular and we recently concluded sales of erven priced from R275 000 to R340 000 for 700sqm. Currently available are vacant stands in the price range from R375 000 to R920 000″.
“Over the past year we’ve noticed a positive shift in the commercial sector in Clarens. The Roter Haan German restaurant acquired property and built new, larger premises off the main street on the corner of Roos and Van Zyl Streets, where they enjoy uninterrupted views, while the Korporasie restaurant relocated from an old dark building to more spacious premises near the town square. The latter offers a menu of traditional ‘boere’ food which is something totally different from the menus found in town.”
Parris says recently opened, is a takeaway food outlet and cafe which has definitely filled a gap in the market, ideally positioned near the entrance to Clarens and appealing to locals and passing tourists.
New businesses which have opened include a hairdressing salon, located in the same block or quadrant as the popular Post House restaurant. Near the entrance to the town are also new children’s play areas and Clarens Xtreme, an adventure centre for quad and mountain biking, abseiling, rock climbing and water rafting. Right next door is the delightful Xtreme Coffee Shop as well as a children’s entertainment area where they can be supervised and occupied in a secure environment while parents explore the town.
Apart from the beautiful mountains and renowned sandstone formations, attractions in this unique area in the Free State include a wide variety of spectacular trees, making it a photographer’s dream.
In November, the annual Cherry Festival takes place in nearby Ficksburg, drawing tourists and locals alike, while Clarens has its own Cherry Shop where delectable cherry products of all kinds can be found.
Says Parris: “Due to the busy tourist market there is constant development in the accommodation sector. Almost every property in Clarens has accommodation of some sort, whether it is a renovated, modernised garage or garden cottage, or complete holiday homes leased out as self-catering units.”
Currently Pam Golding Properties has a couple of guesthouses on the market, priced from R3.6 million to R4.5 million.
Other interesting properties on the market are a 160sqm sandstone house, the original part of which was built in 1920. Set on an erf of 3 011sqm and priced at R1.86 million, this three bedroom home has a magnificent veranda facing the mountains and needs some renovation, although the kitchen and lounge areas were recently tiled. The house was apparently a summer retreat in town for the Van Reenen family, an old Free State farming family who owned the farm alongside the Golden Gate area where the San Parks national park is today located. Historians are known to visit the Van Reenen family grave site which is easily accessible just off the tar road past the Golden Gate public picnic park.
Another property is a five bedroom house which is located on 57ha about 8km from Clarens, perched on solid sandstone rock with scenic views. With five bedrooms and four bathrooms, this house has spacious, modern rooms and imported finishes such as meranti and mahogany wooden counter tops and beams and hand carved fascias from Zanzibar. This exceptional home is priced at R13.76 million through Pam Golding Properties.
A further appealing home on the market in Clarens is a three bedroom, two bathroom, red brick home of 240sqm and with beautiful, modern finishes. Not far from the centre of town it is set on a large stand of 2 810sqm with uninterrupted mountain views and is priced at R3.254 million.