These South African towns are becoming semigration hotspots

 ·23 Sep 2023

Many local and international buyers are purchasing properties in South Africa’s towns, with many semigrating from the country’s big cities or simply looking for a high-quality second home.

Ian Badenhorst, MD for Seeff Country and Karoo, said these towns offer a rural lifestyle but have excellent schools and big-town facilities nearby.

Prices of goods are also often cheaper in smaller towns, with residents also treated to beautiful scenery.

The property prices in these towns have also skyrocketed over the last five to 10 years, according to data from Seeff and Lightstone.

For instance, property prices in Franschhoek in the Western Cape have increased 104% over the last ten years.

“That said, for people moving here, the investment is about more than just bricks and mortar; they are investing in a better quality life,” said Badenhorst.

Below are the price increases for several popular semigration and second home hotspots:

LocationRegionAvg Price5-year change10-year change
FranschhoekCape WinelandsR5.7m36%104%
Nottingham RoadKZN MidlandsR3.6m14%82%
St Francis BayE.Cape CoastR2.9m45%81%
LangebaanWest CoastR2.6m37%100%
YzerfonteinWest CoastR2.5m35%109%
Port AlfredE.Cape Sunshine CoastR2.3m28%53%
HartbeespoortMagalies RegionR2.1m32%44%
LadysmithKlein KarooR1.6m113%167%
Data from Seeff and Lightstone

Franschhoek – Cape Winelands

Franschhoek is a short drive from Cape Town and is surrounded by picturesque mountains and wineries, such as La Motte, Backsberg, Babylonstoren, Boschendal, and Haute Cabrière.

The area is also filled with restaurants, art galleries and beautiful houses.

Those looking to buy will have to pay upwards of R4 million to R8 million, with the top end reaching as high as R100 million.

Nottingham Road – Natal Midlands

The village is close to the Drakensberg and Midlands Meander and close to Michaelhouse and Hilton College.

With it just 1.5 hours from Durban, many are treating it as a second-home haven. Activities in the areas include golf, cycling, fly-fishing and more.

Properties cost between R3 million to R9 million on average and just under R100 million at the top end.

St Francis Bay – Eastern Cape Coast

The holiday village is made up of several artificial canals and waterways, with several homes available on the marina that have their own mooring.

Buyers should, on average, expect to pay between R3 million to R6 million and about R30 million at the top end.

Langebaan – West Coast

Jaco and Tracey-lee Coetzee from Seeff say this area often sees buyers eyeing up second homes or retiring.

The town is only 90 minutes from Cape Town and has several good schools, water sports, a lagoon and more.

Buyers should expect to pay between R1.7 million and R8 million, with the top end at about R30 million.

Yzerfontein – West Coast

The small village has seen little commercialisation, which has created an unspoilt coastal lifestyle. Buyers come from all over, but those in the Cape have a strong preference.

Buyers should expect to pay between R2.95 million and R8 million, with the top end at just under R30 million.

Port Alfred – Eastern Cape Sunshine Coast

Situated between Gqeberha and East London, Simon Olivier from Seeff said the area is a great base for digital nomads, retirees and families relocating to the coast.

The area is popular for riverboat cruises, hiking trails, excellent golfing, and medical and shopping amenities.

Buyers should expect to, on average, pay between R1.1 million to R6 million, with the top end reaching R15 million.

Hartbeespoort – Magaliesberg area

The large selection of estates with luxury homes makes this town popular for second home and semigration buyers, especially those from the Joburg/Pretoria metros.

“Attractions include the Magaliesberg Mountains, dam restaurants, shops and more, and you are quite close to the big cities as well,” Seeff said.

Average house prices range from upwards of R2.2 million to R6 million, with the top end reaching R40 million.

Swellendam – Overberg

Despite regularly being used as a stopover on the way to the Garden Route, buyers from Gauteng, KZN and the Cape have flocked to the area, particularly high-earning young families who are looking for the benefits of a small town with excellent schooling.

Properties between R2 million and R3 million are scarce, as vacant land prices have jumped by more than 40% due to scarcity.

On average, prices for residential properties range from R2 million to R5 million, while agricultural properties can cost between R10 million and around R40 million.

Napier – Overberg

The village is noted for its low crime, good services, beautiful mountain and rolling farmlands.

It is close to the Cape Town Airport, Hermanus and Somerset West and has attractions like the De Hoop Nature Reserve.

According to Seeff’s Elaine and Lori Hodgson, buyer enquiries mostly come from those in the North West, Gauteng, Free State, and KZN.

Buyers should expect to pay over R1.6 million and roughly R6 million at the top end.

Ladismith – Klein Karoo

Sonja Claassen, an agent with Seeff, said the town has beautiful architecture and easy access to the Garden Route and Klein Karoo.

Claasen said that more semigration buyers are heading here as an alternative to the Garden Route towns.

Buyers should expect to only pay upwards of R850,000 and about R3 million for a top-end home. There are also small holdings and farms in the area.

Read: A huge problem for the South African property market – and how to overcome it

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