Bloemfontein at a glance
Bloemfontein is a vibrant and diverse city. It is South Africa's seventh largest city and is home to more than half a million people.
This judicial capital of the country has a thriving economy that is reflected in its residential sector. The city's extremely active property market has seen sales soaring in the sectional title unit market. In fact, in 2018, Bloemfontein experienced its highest-ever number of sectional title sales with a record-breaking 1,803 properties changing hands.
This is a "young" city with the majority of its residents in the 36 to 49 year age group.
Apart from being the home of the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa and an economy driven by the government sector, Bloemfontein is the chosen headquarters for several of the country's leading retail companies. Other economic forces include finance, manufacturing and transport. This array of job opportunities, combined with the fact that its property market offers homes at affordable prices, adds to its attraction for its 520 000-plus residents.
But, not all the emphasis is placed on work. Play, and particularly sport, is a major contributor to the leisure hours spent in this "city of roses." The much-loved Cheetahs rugby team is based at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. The stadium hosted 2010 FIFA World Cup matches, and its surrounding sports complex serves as the main venue for the province.
For those who enjoy a "flutter," Bloemfontein houses the Windmill Casino and Entertainment World, as well as the Southern Sun Casino.
Bloemfontein is also proud of its primary and tertiary schools and is home to well-known establishments such as St Andrews and Grey College. Hundreds of students also attend the University of the Free State and the Central University of Technology.
On a cultural level, it is here that you will find the Andre Huguenot and Sand du Plessis theatres. There are numerous museums, including the Anglo-Boer War, the National Women's and the Oliewenhuis Art museums.
Bloemfontein also houses the first sub-Saharan African digital planetarium, the Naval Hill Planetarium, as well as the astronomical research observatory, the Boyden Observatory, erected by Harvard University.
Did you know that there are many famous people who are associated with the City of Roses? For example, did you know that J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, was born in Bloemfontein?
Other famous names include capped sportsmen such as soccer player, Willem Jackson, cricketers Allan Donald, Hansie Cronje, Kepler Wessels and Morne van Wyk, and rugby player Chris Dry. Olympic gold medallist, Ryk Neethling, and long distance athlete, Zola Budd, also called Bloemfontein home. Other well-known personalities hailing from this city include entertainers Leon Schuster, Coenie de Villiers and Al Debbo.
Residents are spoiled for choice when it comes down to shopping facilities. But it is the Loch Logan Waterfront Mall that is the jewel in that crown. It is the biggest shopping centre in central South Africa, with 80 000 m² of floor space. Loch Logan has more than 100 shops, 17 restaurants and coffee shops, 10 fast food outlets, movies, salons, banks, a gym and a medical centre.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, it is no wonder then that Bloemfontein's property market is burgeoning. This is a vibrant and dynamic city where buyers can still invest in good quality homes for under R1 million.
It is a stable property market. The bulk of Bloemfontein's housing stock is owned by long-term residents who have lived in the area for more than 11 years. This fact is reflected in the number of sales in execution. These were rife between 2008 and 2010, numbering 1,083. But this figure dwindled down to a mere 36 in 2018, the lowest number of sales in execution recorded in the last 18 years.
Freestanding homes make up the majority of residential properties, numbering 44,436 (64.79%). However, sectional title homes are becoming increasingly popular and now number 21,259 (31%).
With its access to major road, rail and air links, and as an inter-denominational city catering to people from all walks of life, it is easy to understand why Bloemfontein is becoming an increasingly popular city to set up home.