South Africa’s luxury housing market has been hit hard by the current state of the local economy, with most of the market seeing a dip in activity.
However, some areas such as Thesen Islands in Knysna continue to thrive despite the economic downturn.
This is according to Sue Abernethy, sales associate at Remax Coastal, who said that since space is limited and demand is high in this area leading to continuous demand.
“There are 512 individual homes and 56 apartments on these islands, with a 2-bed apartment starting at around R3 million,” she said.
“At the moment, there are only about three sectional titles on the market: a one-bedroom for R4.2 million and another three-bedroom for R5.2 million.
“Freestanding homes start at around R5 – R6 million and vary from three bedrooms up to five bedrooms.”
Abernethy said that most of the larger properties in the higher price bracket are on the water and have their own private jetties. She added that there is also an extremely active rental market.
“There is currently a shortage of stock, especially for holiday rentals. We simply can’t keep up with the demand for properties! A small house will cost about between R20,000 to R25,000 per month, but short-term holiday rentals yield much higher returns and attract some of the highest day rates in Knysna’s upmarket rental market.”
In terms of the buyer profile, Abernethy said that the market has turned to South African investors.
“We used to have many overseas buyers, but these days the area seems to attract many families who have bought here for the lifestyle and security.
“With the airport in George being close by, the main income provider usually commutes to Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban. We do also have many retired couples here, as well many holiday homeowners. I think approximately 30% of residents are permanent and the rest are holiday homes,” Abernethy said.
While most of the homes in the area have a neighbouring property and share land, it is also possible to buy your own private island.
One of these properties is currently up for sale for R24.5 million.
The 1,309m2 property features a swimming pool and entertainment deck, while the foyer links the entry with double volume living spaces into an open plan kitchen, dining, formal lounge and a separate living area with a fireplace.
The central staircase connects two separate entertaining areas and a kitchen with bedrooms upstairs.
The home has seven bedrooms all with en-suite bathrooms with high-end finishes , quality appliances and furniture included in the selling price.