More South Africans are looking to buy their own farms – here’s how much it costs

 ·10 Jul 2019

Alongside sustained demand for agricultural farms, game, stud, guest and lifestyle farms are gaining in popularity and have become a big driver of demand for country property, according to Ian Badenhorst, managing director of Seeff Country and Karoo.

Badenhorst said that owning a farm remains high on the agenda of many, with an increasing number of people moving from the main urban centres to smaller farming properties – especially in the Cape region.

Farm-house accommodation is very popular globally and these types of farms are well suited as second homes with many owners developing guest house facilities so that they can rent it out when not in use, he said.

“The attraction of the countryside is multi-faceted. Aside from reduced stress and no traffic, it offers more security, better services and access to excellent schools, medical facilities and good infrastructure. Most of the areas do not have industrialisation and hence offer clean air and clear skies.

“Generally, you are within 1-2 hour’s drive at the most from a town and you gain massively on lifestyle benefits, he says. Aside from a better quality of life, you will find that your cost of living is much lower with not just water and electricity cheaper, but food is cheaper and fresh from the farm.”

Willie van Rensburg from Seeff Riversdale says that while the market for farming properties has softened on the back of political and policy concerns, those who want to invest in a good game and stud farm, or a lifestyle or guest property continues to do so.

He added that buyers often want to live on a farm, but don’t really want to indulge in commercial farming which adds to the attraction of lifestyle-type farms.

“Game farms are popular with South African and international buyers,” he said.

“Owning a farm in Africa is a sought-after investment and while many want these for their own private use, they are growing in popularity to meet the demand for more tourist products. These properties also contribute to conservation and breeding of Africa’s rare game species and rehabilitating and preserving South Africa’s unique natural heritage.”

Below, Seeff highlighted what you can expect to pay in some of the popular areas.

Riversdale – R5 million to R18 million

The Riversdale area offers excellent infrastructure and schools and is considered safe.

This has led to an uptick in buyers relocating from the inland provinces, especially Gauteng and the northern regions, said van Rensburg.

“Lifestyle farms are priced from around R5 million to R7 million while game farms range well above this, although overall still offering far more value compared to luxury houses in the big cities.”

He added that you can expect to pay around R8.32 million for one of the best horse stud and training farms in the country at 225,876ha.

“For a top-class lifestyle farm, expect to pay around R6,99m for a 74ha property suitable for game farming as it is completely fenced with 2.4-meter high Bonox fencing,” he said.

“The property offers stunning views of the Sleeping Beauty mountain and the valley and comes with large biodiversity and excellent infrastructure including a 700sqm homestead, shed and storeroom along with a second house which is ideal to use as a guest house.”

Swellendam – R4,3 million to R12 million

Located midway between Cape Town and George, Swellendam is a popular stop-over with good infrastructure, plenty of water and stunning vistas including the towering Langeberg Mountain.

Val Anderton, an agent with Seeff says the town is popular for a variety of farms with lifestyle farms on offer in the R4.3 million to R12 million range.

“Aside from local buyers, the area has also attracted buyers from France, Holland and Zimbabwe and South Africans looking to swop the city for a country lifestyle, preferably where they can be self-sufficient and enjoy off-the-grid living,” Anderton said.

She said that buyers invest in lifestyle farms and smallholdings to get away from city life, but given the close proximity to Swellendam town, they still enjoy a country lifestyle, yet with all the benefits of amenities on their doorstep.

“At the top end of the market, a lifestyle farm will set you back around R11.8 million for a 60ha property with two dwellings located in the Bushman’s Valley.”

Gansbaai – priced from R3.5 million

Anet Rossouw from Seeff Gansbaai says that the coastal location is what makes it popular for lifestyle farm buyers.

It is also very accessible for visitors and guests as it is only about two and a half hour’s drive from the Cape Town International Airport, she said.

“Prices start from R3.5 million for a rare 11,64ha property located in the heart of the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.”

Read: How many South Africans are selling up and emigrating in the second quarter

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