An increasing number of local and international homeowners are looking to move to the Garden Route on South Africa’s south-eastern coast in search of a better lifestyle, says real estate agency Pam Golding Properties.
“We are definitely seeing an increasing gravitation to this region,” said Stephen Murray, Pam Golding Properties area manager in George.
Murray said that the town is the ‘de facto capital’ of the Garden Route and undoubtedly its largest urban centre – but without the traffic congestion factor. George offers a quiet and tranquil, not to mention picturesque, alternative to city living, particularly for those who revel in the outdoors, he said.
Murray said that the town caters for all price sectors, ranging from below R2 million to even upwards of R20 million at the very top end.
“Apart from a growing number first-time purchasers, plus a mix of home buyers from various age groups, properties here have become a firm favourite among retirees due to the relaxed atmosphere and spectacular scenery which encompasses the Outeniqua Mountains, rivers, forests, beaches and rich farmlands.
“In addition to local buyers already happily entrenched in the George area, home purchasers are drawn from Gauteng, elsewhere in the Western Cape – including Cape Town, followed by Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape, while overseas buyers include those from the USA, Germany and UK.”
Murray said over two years, approximately 50% of buyers are from outside the Garden Route region.
Murray said for many buyers, security is top of mind coupled with a sense of space, especially in light of the lockdown restrictions, and so gated estates are proving popular, such as Kingswood Golf Estate, Welgelegen Estate, Kraaibosch Country Estates and Fancourt.
“We are seeing a large number of cash buyers in these estates, where entry-level prices start from R650,000 and R1.7 million, and completed homes range from R2.8 million to R26.5 million.
“Enabling multi-generational living, a number of gated estate developments have made provision for retirement developments within the existing estates.
“Aside from these sought-after estates, the average price band for freestanding family homes in George varies from an affordable R1.05 million for a home in a townhouse complex, and then ranges from R1.8 million to R7 million in the upmarket suburbs.”
Pam Golding Properties said that it has also seen increasing interest in Knysna, with the buyers currently from South Africa’s metros, predominantly Johannesburg.
“They are mainly interested in acquiring vacant land in order to build their dream homes, especially in security estates but also in the Heads in Knysna and Keurbooms in Plettenberg Bay,” said Gordon Shutte, Pam Golding Properties area principal.
Shutte said that properties across the board are selling, from R250,000 to R9.5 million for vacant plots, to houses which are active up to R15 million and particularly at the R5 million mark.
“Our sales are currently well up on same period last year. Other areas highly sought after include Belvidere, Fernwood Estate, Simola Golf Estate, Pezula Private Estate, Pezula Golf Estate, Thesen Islands and Leisure Isle in Knysna and Whale Rock, Brackenridge Estate and Schoongezicht Estate in Plett, plus just about anywhere with ocean views.”