How much it costs to retire to a fishing village on South Africa’s West Coast

The fishing villages of the West Coast Peninsula including Paternoster and St Helena Bay are still hot favourites with buyers notes Seeff Estate Agents.

A property in St Helena Bay – ‘Sea La Vie’ – a 4-star Guest House with five self-catering apartments located on the water’s edge at the tip of peninsula in Shelley Point achieved a new record price for the area of R10.5 million.

Seeff agent Karin Holloway said that this is a remarkable achievement considering that most sales tend to be below the R2. million range.

Seeff’s teams also noted that these areas still offered more accessible pricing for holiday and second home buyers, hence they are still seeing good activity. “But, it is not just holiday, but also retirees who are still looking in these areas,” the group said.

The West Coast Peninsula stretches from Langebaan, Saldanha and Vredenburg to Paternoster and St Helena Bay which includes Shelley Point and is just under two hour’s drive from Cape Town. Aside from the beautiful coastline with its azure bays, the area includes the West Coast National Park, a nature lover’s paradise teeming with birdlife.

In the Spring, the area transforms into a flower carpet, attracting visitors from all over the world.

It is crayfish and snoek country and the area is renowned for its hospitable people and storytelling, said Holloway. Characterised by white-washed fisherman-styled architecture, the nutrient-rich Benguela current means that fishing a large part of the local economy. In fact, more than half of the SA’s annual fish production is processed in St Helena Bay.

St Helena Bay has a 31km coastline with 18 bays, three working harbours, stunning beaches and rock formations. It is also home to the beautiful Shelley Point Country & Golf Club estate which offers a range of properties, priced from R1.5 million-R10.5 million.

Although a popular weekend bolthole for Capetonians, the peninsula attracts people from all over the country, especially from Johannesburg and Pretoria and a small percentage foreign buyers, said the agent.

The local property market has been quite active over the last three years and showed a drastic improvement in the 2014-2017 period, ending on over 570 transactions for the twelve months to end June including several sales above R3 million, said Holloway.

Beach-front property is in high demand and on the ‘Golden Mile’, now sells for around R6.5 million-R7.5 million for a luxury home with spectacular ocean-views, an adjacent boardwalk, spectacular living areas with a terrace and pool, five bedrooms, modern finishes and top class security that can be rented out over the busy summer holiday season at around R8,000/night for up to twelve people.

Nearby Paternoster also enjoyed an active 2017 ending the last twelve months with 31 transactions as it is much smaller and a more niche market according to Marina Enslin, Seeff’s agent for the village. It is one of the oldest fishing villages in the country where you can enjoy an unspoilt getaway as it is largely devoid of commercialisation.

Strict building guidelines protect the architectural integrity of the village and contributes to the demand and high property values, said Enslin. Fresh seafood, beautiful surroundings, white beaches and an azure-blue ocean are all part of the attraction, she added.

Property options range from apartments to small fisherman’s cottages and luxury beach houses. There is still vacant land for sale, priced from R390,000-R3.8 million for a beach-front plot.

Sectional title units start at around R1.6 million for two bedrooms and range to R3.6 million for three-bedrooms overlooking the beach. Houses range from R1.85 million with a highest price of R8.3 million.

Many home-owners rent out their properties to holiday visitors. Low season rates are around R600-R1,000/day for up to three bedrooms and R2,000-R5,000/day over the busy summer season.

There are also many guest houses and B&B’s which offer rates of R495-R3000/night, Seeff said.

Read: The best areas for first-time home buyers in Joburg and Pretoria

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How much it costs to retire to a fishing village on South Africa’s West Coast