This seaside town in South Africa just hit a record sales year, thanks to semigration

 ·31 Jul 2022

The Plettentberg Bay market remains on its upward trajectory, with 2022 looking to be another record-breaking year for this popular seaside town in the Western Cape as semigration continues to fuel an already buoyant market.

“In 2021, the total value of sales broke the R2 billion mark for the first time in history, a whopping 82% up on 2020, with the number of sales increasing by 44% and average prices rising by 26%,” said Steven Neufeld, manager principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Plettenberg Bay.

“The average value for a property in Plett increased by 7% in 2020, then by a dramatic 26% in 2021 to R3,08 million, and we’ve seen a further of 2.4% in 2022 to date, which bodes well for another bumper year.”

Neufeld says that so far this year, most estate agencies are reporting record sales with many doubling their previous records and that they are also currently unseasonably busy during what should be the quieter winter months.

“To put this into perspective, the slowest year in Plett during the past decade was 2011 when the total sales in the whole town were R453 million. From 2016 to 2018, Plett’s totals were just over R1billion each, dropping to R812 million in 2019,

“However, in 2020 when we least expected it, total sales broke the R1 billion mark again, jumping to R2 billion in 2021.

“The current boom has come as quite a surprise as economists were predicting a considerable decline post-lockdown; -8% was predicted due to the combination of the recession, national structural problems, and the effect of lockdown.”

Entry level asking prices, which had remained relatively stable for a number of years have also increased considerably over the past three years.

“It’s becoming difficult to find full title homes below R3m and sectional title unit prices now begin at around R1.1m with vacant land starting at about R295,000 in gated estates and R570,000 in open areas,” says Neufeld.

Top current publicised asking prices for residential properties on the market are as follows: R60 million for a beachfront home, R19.5 million for vacant land on back row of Beachy Head Drive (with no houses in front), and R9.5million for a brand-new apartment in Plett Quarter.

Neufeld attributes these increases to a number of factors, including high levels of semigration from other parts of the country, the ‘newfound’ ability to work remotely and growing activity at the top end of the market.

“There is also a higher proportion of local buyers now (29%) although the majority are still from Gauteng (31%), followed by Cape Town (12%) and, although international buyers make up about 8% of the market, we are seeing an increase in this rate in 2022.”

Owner broker, Hein Pretorius, said: “It’s been phenomenal and the market is doing exceptionally well across the board. The top end of the market has been very active and there is high building activity, with little or no vacant land left in the more popular gated estates and stock shortages are a becoming problem.

“Ten years ago, we had more than 1000 properties on our books, but we are now at a quarter of that, although there are still good properties on offer. It’s therefore a good time to sell if you are thinking of doing so as there are many buyers and dwindling stock so you can achieve a decent price for your property.”

Pretorius added that the neighbouring towns of Keurbooms, Wittedrift and Nature’s Valley are also experiencing increased activity during the past four years.

In Keurbooms proper, four properties transferred in 2018 at an average of R7.86 million with the highest sale price being R9.75 million for an older beachfront house and in 2022, so far, seven properties registered for an average of R4 million, he said.

“Wittedrift saw in seven property registrations in 2019 at an average of R863,000 and in 2022, so far, seven properties have been registered at an average price of R1,283,000.

“In Natures Valley, 12 properties changed hands in 2018 at an average of R3.8 million and to date, this year properties were registered for an average of R5.65 million. with the highest sale price being R7 milllion for a house in Lagoon Drive.

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