Lydenburg’s development as a business hub acts as a magnet for home buyers

Surrounded by mountains at the foot of the Long Tom Pass in Mpumalanga, Lydenburg, now also known as Mashishing, is rapidly becoming a business hub servicing the surrounding communities and mining interests as far afield as Pilgrim’s Rest, Steelpoort, Burgersort, Ohrigstad and Rietfontein.

Some 290km from Pretoria, this popular stopover on the Highlands Meander, en route to the Kruger National Park, is by no means a one-road town, as, apart from the mining sector, it is supported by its diverse agriculture, forestry and tourism industries says Andreas Greeff, Pam Golding Properties’ area principal.

Monday to Friday from as early as 6am, with the morning mist still hovering low, the town is abuzz with trucks and workers making their way to reach their destinations in and around the town. Voortrekker Street bustles like Sauer Street in Johannesburg with pedestrians and vehicles constantly on the move.

Says Greeff: “The capacity of the movement makes one wonder if there is sufficient housing for this dynamic shift. About 90% of homes in Mashishing-Lydenburg are full title and a mere 10% sectional title, which opens up a gap of opportunity for developers to bring some new sectional stock onto the market.

“Many people choose to live in this picturesque location with their families to enjoy the country living and host of primary and secondary schools.

“As a result, there is a solid demand for residential property to buy across the price ranges – especially starter homes below R1 million – as well as rental properties to cater mainly for mining employees – generally in the price range from R6 000 a month and upwards.”

The town has a very stable homeowner population with 63% having owned their own homes for 11 or more years (according to Lightstone statistics). The buyer demographic leans towards family buyers predominantly from 36 to 49 years, while younger buyers are making a concerted move to invest in the area. Activity in the market is also boosted by sellers over the age of 50 years, some of whom are retiring to the coast.

About 70% built and occupied, estates such as Sterkspruit and The Heads are attracting the younger buyers who prefer smaller, modern properties in a secure, gated environment. In Sterkspruit prices range between R280 000 and R1m for stands ranging in size from 500 to 900m2.

Greeff says farms of around 500ha and over are also sought after, especially those harvesting citrus and nuts. Citrus farms are sought after by existing citrus farmers from Tzaneen and Hoedspruit looking to expand their businesses, as well as planting farmers from Nelspruit.

“Extremely hard to come by, citrus farms go for R10m plus, while grazing and planting farms fetch upwards of R4m.”

For visitors, a must-stop in the area is the Lydenburg Museum in the Gustav Klingbiel Nature Reserve with its hiking trails and overnight hut, on the road to Sabie and on the main tourist route to the Lowveld and Kruger National Park.