A strong demand for brand new homes in secure complexes in the scenic town of Clarens in the Free State has seen half the units in the 24-unit new sectional title development, The Paddocks, sell within a few months of being brought to market, despite this including the traditionally quieter trading period during the recent December/January festive season.
So says Anne Maree, Pam Golding Properties area principal in Clarens, who says the competitive pricing, with semi-detached units of 105 to 125sqm in size with private patio or garden selling off-plan priced from R995 000 including VAT, has attracted buyers from Bethlehem, Gauteng, Bloemfontein and further afield from KwaZulu-Natal – mainly Pietermaritzburg.
“The fact that purchasers are acquiring value-for-money, brand new homes in a prime location not only within the town but also in a nationally sought after country getaway destination where they can enjoy a tranquil, quality lifestyle is driving brisk sales in The Paddocks. The development is north-facing, with scenic views of surrounding mountains including the landmark Titanic Rock and Mount Horeb.
“Buyers are across a range of age groups, from retirees to a younger generation seeking a prime lock-up-and-go property for weekends, where no maintenance is required.”
With a monthly levy of R800, two bedroom units are selling at R995 000 and three bedroom units priced at R1.195 million, Maree says this is arguably the best value for money currently available in Clarens. The entire development will be secured with 1.8m fencing, and each owner has the option of privatising their individual front garden or patio area with an attractive 1.2m picket fence.
The units include an open-plan kitchen / living area and single garage with laundry connections. While this is not a retirement complex, at a later stage the body corporate can decide if they would like to link each unit to a caregiver’s unit for any medical emergencies or assistance. The prospective care giver’s unit has already been built. A government and private hospital are situated in Bethlehem, only 39km away.
Adds Maree: “Once this development is sold out we will be marketing a further development, well positioned at the entrance to Clarens near Titanic Rock, and which is to be launched by the same developer and builder.
“Homes in Clarens have remained in high demand despite the country’s current economic challenges, with a constant flow of enquiries for residential property – especially in the price range between approximately R1 million and R1.5 million.
“Gauteng purchasers are particularly evident, with the main market stemming from Johannesburg, from those wanting to escape the traffic and stress of the city to a more secure and peaceful lifestyle. Being only three hours’ drive, this makes weekend getaways highly appealing and weekends can see the local population in Clarens swell from about 2 000 to 6 000 during peak periods such as Easter and events which include the Lush music festival (end of March), beer festivals and the like. To cater for the busy tourist market, the town offers approximately 500 beds.”
During the past year (2015) Clarens has seen commercial development around the town square, including the upgrading of older buildings. A wide variety of retail outlets includes Tsonga shoes, clothing, curios, interior decor, art galleries, clothing, handmade leather, sandstone and wood items, as well as adventure centres and a tattoo artist.
Forming part of the scenic Highlands Route and surrounded by majestic mountain ranges such as the world-famous Maluti’s and home to the trademark sandstone cliffs, Clarens is renowned for its quaint and quirky arts and crafts shops, numerous sandstone buildings and huge array of trees which herald the changing of seasons.