Mpumalanga now fast becoming SA’s new property hotspot

Mpumalanga is an attractive choice for buyers who want to be close to the bushveld. Picture: Supplied

Mpumalanga is an attractive choice for buyers who want to be close to the bushveld. Picture: Supplied

Published Sep 13, 2023


Mpumalanga is already one of South Africa’s top tourist destinations but is now emerging as the new ‘it’ province for buyers and investors.

House prices have increased by more than 17 percent over the past year, the highest growth in the country, even surpassing that of the Western Cape which recorded house price inflation of 5.7 percent.

Mpumalanga, known as the “place where the sun rises” in Nguni languages, offers a variety of property options which Carl Coetzee, chief executive of BetterBond, says makes it appealing for first-time buyers, professionals, young buyers returning to their hometown, and retirees wanting to be close to the bushveld.

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Citing 2022 Lightstone data, he says that almost as many people are semigrating to Mpumalanga as those who are leaving. Five percent of people who left their home towns or provinces last year chose Mpumalanga as their new residence.

“This is largely because the province has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty, quality of life, and economic opportunities. Just under three and a half hours drive from Johannesburg, it offers the perfect option for professionals who work in Gauteng during the week.”

Payprop’s Rental Index for Q2 2023 shows that many first-time buyers start their property journey by renting in the province, which has the ‘most average’ monthly rental of R8,281. However, he says rents are increasing steadily as demand for accommodation in the province intensifies, with the data revealing solid rental growth of 5.2% in the past quarter of this year. This means that rental prices in Mpumalanga are on track to overtake the national rental average of R8,375 a month.

“The growing demand for rental properties makes Mpumalanga an attractive investment option for buyers considering buy-to-let properties as a source of income.”

The capital city of Mbombela, formerly known as Nelspruit, is showing a considerable uptick in market activity. As the gateway to the Kruger National Park, the city is also already a top tourist destination but is also gaining appeal as an ideal place to live because of its temperate climate, economic opportunities, and amenities, which include world-class malls and entertainment areas.

“It’s no surprise that the bulk of buyers in Mbombela in the past year – 42 percent – were aged 36 to 49. Many of these buyers would have families looking to settle in a vibrant town with a strong sense of community.”

He adds that Mpumalanga is no longer just a lively tourist destination or geographically diverse attraction en route to the Kruger National Park, but is carving a niche for itself in South Africa’s property market by offering accessible residential property and excellent value-for-money investment opportunities.

When it comes to female property buyers, this province is also seeing one of the highest increases. Data from ooba Home Loans shows that home loan applications from first-time female buyers made up 35 percent of all applications in 2013, but now account for 49.2 percent – a 14.2 percent increase. The only province with a higher increase in female bond applications is Limpopo with 16.7 percent.

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