Overberg commercial farms back in demand

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Commercial farms across the Overberg is seeing strong demand right now, more so in fact than lifestyle farms and smallholdings according to John Albertyn, Seeff agricultural consultant for the Overberg. While interest in non-commercial properties has dipped somewhat over the last two years, commercial land is now highly sought-after, he adds. Where lifestyle buyers are looking in the R3.5 million to R7.5 million price range, commercial farm buyers are spending as much as R10 million to R15 million for a commercial farm in the Overberg region. The Overberg is renowned as the breadbasket of the Cape and country for its fertile land and vast agricultural operations that range from fruit, wine, grain and wheat to livestock and dairy farming. It is also one of the most scenic regions of the country characterised by rolling fields, natural vegetation such as fynbos offset by mountain ranges, rivers and dams. The close proximity to Cape Town with most of the areas anywhere within an hour to about four hours' drive, is another advantage for this property sector. Albertyn says farms in the area south of the N2 are predominantly grain and livestock operations. Grain consists of wheat, barley, oats and canola while livestock is generally sheep and cattle farming. There are also quite a few dairy operations and in recent years an increase in wine farms and cultivated fynbos farms. Aside from the sales market, agricultural properties are also now popular for rental. Prices vary vastly though and, says Albertyn, depends on the type of farming, soil quality and water availability. Dryland grain farms are currently rented out at R1 200-R2 500/ha depending on the yield potential. Fynbos farms are often harvested by contractors that pay the land owner according to what they harvest. Similarly wine farmers will get a percentage of the yield that is realised. Top end opportunities on the market here include a stunning 750ha grain and livestock farm in the Stanford area, priced at R14.5 million. The property includes 350ha of high-yield grain land, 250ha of permanent pastures with 65ha of irrigation rights and 100ha of fynbos and renosterveld. Albertyn says this particular farm offers huge potential. It is ideally suited to sheep and cattle farming and with good grain lands, offers a good balance with the risk well spread. The main house has four bedrooms and stunning views over Walker Bay and the mountains. There are also two guest cottages and three labourer's cottages, all with electricity and water. The farm is being sold as a going concern and includes all implements and equipment. Another good opportunity is a 245ha farm with irrigation and a dairy operation, located midway between Caledon and Napier. Priced at R22 million, the property has an excellent location, superb infrastructure and outstanding water sources, says the agent. There are three houses and four labourer's cottages along with five large steel sheds and a forty-point dairy with 200 cows in milk. The farm has 150ha arable land of which 20ha is already under permanent irrigation and there is registered water rights for a further 40ha. In all, there is water rights for 316 000 cubic meters per annum. The property also boasts four dams with a holding capacity of 200 000 cubic meters as well as a natural fountain and three boreholes. The property is also being sold as a going concern. Matthys Heyns, agri-agent for the Swellendam area says that commercial farms do not often come onto the market here and are usually snapped up quite quickly, especially if it is has good soil, water sources and irrigation. While lifestyle farms sell for R3 million to R5 million in the area, commercial farms tend to go for as much as R15 million to R20 million. On a price per hectare basis, dryland farms sell for around R35 000/ha and irrigated farms for as much as R135 000/ha. Rental rates are at around R1 250/ha for dryland and R6 750/ha for irrigated farms. Excellent investments on offer in the area include a 57ha lifestyle farm with 30ha water rights, a cottage, shed and labourer's housing and infrastructure for livestock farming, located near Swellendam that is priced at R5 million. The second is a 158ha game farm with twelve fenced camps, priced at R7 million. It is located on the banks of the Breede River. Buyers in the Riversdale area meanwhile are now looking around the R10 million price mark. Irrigated farms tend to sell for around R80 000-R180 000/ha while dryland farms are selling for around R10 000-R60 000/ha. Riversdale is a very popular farming area according to agent, Eugene Truter. It boasts a 30/70 summer/winter rainfall split, thus allowing for bi-annual planting seasons. Farming operations vary from sheep and cattle to dairy farming and crop farming as well grazing. Excellent opportunities in the area include a beautiful 23ha farm with 15ha drylands that can be irrigated. Priced at R1.74 million, the property includes a strong stream with water rights and excellent infrastructure including a main house and two sheds. There is also a Bluegum tree plantation with a potential harvest income of around R500 000. At the top end, is a state-of-the-art 660ha sheep and cattle farm, fully equipped for commercial farming, says Truter. It includes 400ha planted with Lucerne, Sorghum, Oats and Canola and comes 300ha of water rights of which only 150ha is currently used. About 160ha is currently under irrigation. There are 25 camps that can accommodate 5 000 sheep. The property includes a 650sqm main house with everything from an indoor pool to a separate flat and even a butchery. There is also a manager's house, historic old house, six labourer's cottages, five huge stores, a dairy that needs equipment, a state of the art wool store and handling facility. The price of R24.45 million excludes the livestock and implements that is available for negotiation. For more information, contact Seeff Overberg/John Albertyn on 071 308 5982, Swellendam/Matthys Heyns on 082 864 8165 and Riversdale/Eugene Truter on 083 679 2426

Author: Seeff

Submitted 03 Nov 15 / Views 532