A growing number of South Africans are looking semigrate to smaller towns along South Africa’s coast.
For most, the primary motivation for this move is a desire to escape the traffic congestion, escalating crime and increasingly regular bouts of unrest of the city for a safer, quieter life.
Many semigrants are also empty nesters and retirees looking to scale down both their homes and lifestyles, families with young pre-school children and professionals who are able to predominantly work from home or want to open small businesses
Below BusinessTech looked at several little towns in the country that still show good property value, including three coastal gems.
Plettenberg Bay has become one of the most popular coastal property hotspots in the country and now ranks as the premier coastal residential belt outside of the Atlantic Seaboard for upper end and investment buyers.
The town has seen a fair amount of influx over the last few years as semigrating families looked to settle in a more wholesome environment said Kevin Engelsman, licensee for Seeff Plettenberg Bay.
“After a 5-year period of excellent growth between 2013-2017/8, the market has settled back, closely following the trajectory of the national housing market decline over the last two years,” he said.
“While operating under slightly more muted conditions, the market nonetheless remains active, but largely below the R5 million price band. ”
The average transaction price measured over the 12-month period between September 2018 and August 2019, stands at around R1.95 million.
Full title sales account for 32% and an average selling price of R2.63 million. Estate property account for 19% at an average price of R2,904 million and sectional title property for 9% at an average price of R1,123 million. Vacant land accounts for 29% of all transactions.
“Plettenberg Bay offers a fabulous climate and lifestyle, something that holiday buyers and retirees have known for some time,” said Engelsman.
“The town offers excellent amenities, from restaurants and hotels to convenience and shopping centres, upmarket boutiques and décor shops, excellent schools, polo and the local Plett Wine and Bubbly Route, all set on the shores of some of the country’s best beaches.”
The small fishing village of Arniston is located on the Cape South Coast, close to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa and just two and a half hour’s drive from Cape Town.
It offers a laid-back coastal lifestyle and choice of holiday properties, said Elaine Beyers from Seeff Bredasdorp/Arniston.
Beyers said there are only about 1174 permanent households as it is primarily a holiday village with many people owning holiday homes.
“The average asking price for a home in the village with little to no views, is now around R3.1 million and for a sea view, expect to pay to around R8 million to R9 million,” she said.
“The highest prices achieved is R8.9 million for a home sold by Seeff in March 2017 and more recently, R8.2 million for house sold by Seeff in April 2019. Vacant land sells for around R1.91 million, Seeff said.
Gansbaai, which includes Kleinbaai and De Kelders, is around a two-hour drive from Cape Town and is near Hermanus. It is situated on Walker Bay at the foot of the Dynefontein Mountains with a coastline rich in fynbos vegetation.
“The town continues to experience a steady flow of property enquiries and has seen consistent sales volumes over many years as Seeff’s agents believe that coastal properties here still offer excellent value and long-term investment potential. Aside from local residents, the area is very attractive to holiday home and retirement buyers,” said Marlene Uys from Seeff Gansbaai.
“Prices are very affordable considering that full title homes range from R1.2 million – R1.85 million on average, but large homes can range to around R4 million and more for top end properties.
“The luxury beach houses of De Kelders, although seldom on the market tends to range above this to around R12 million.”
Uys added that Gansbaai is a popular holiday town and hence a busy rental market with long-term rentals in the R4,000-R7,500 range and holiday rentals from around R1,800/day for a three-bed property.
Welgedacht and Durbanville
While not ‘beach’ towns, Welgedacht and Durbanville have become highly sought-after with family buyers looking for a better quality lifestyle and access to excellent schools, said Seeff.
The agency said prices range from around R1.57 million at the Tyger Waterfront, to R4.3 million in Loevenstein, R5.49 million in Oude Westhof and R5.75 million in Kanonberg.
The highest prices achieved over the last year include R6.5 million in Welgedacht, R7.5 million in Vierlanden and R5.2 million in Welgevonden.
“The suburbs offer an excellent value proposition. They are central with easy access to main arterials, Seeff said.
Durbanville Wine Valley is close by, which dates to the early 17th century and offers twelve wineries with well-known cellars including Durbanville Hills, D’Aria, Diemersdal, Meerendal, De Grendel and Nitida.
“All your needs are catered for with an array of amenities and facilities, from childcare and schools to places of worship, sport and leisure and excellent retail and restaurant facilities.
There are a number of shopping malls including the Tygervalley mega mall which offers sought-after local and international brands, a food court and restaurants. There are also top class medical facilities and hospitals in the area.”