The West and East Coast regions are sought-after residential areas offering a slower pace of life outside the city. We look at the latest developments
WORDS: HELÈNE MEISSENHEIMER – PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
South Africa’s Cape West Coast and East Coast with their relaxed family-friendly lifestyle, unspoilt beaches and many outdoor activities woo both semigrants and investors to commit to property in these regions. Lightstone Property data on residential transfers from the third quarter of 2020 indicates that more families are trading big city living for the coast. “People have semigrated to the coastal areas for a change of lifestyle,” says Lightstone head of real estate Esteani Marx. “There’s the financial aspect too, as some had to downscale while others started working from home, contributing to a total shift in the market.” This mirrors the trend in other countries, where urbanites are moving to smaller towns or villages.
“Our lives have become so integrated with technology, why should your home be any different? Miguel Rodrigues, director, Rabie Property Group
With quaint fishing villages, spectacular wildflowers and a largely pristine coastline, The West Coast is a popular holiday destination. Within 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, holiday towns such as Yzerfontein and Langebaan have had more retirees and young families moving in lately. They’re attracted to the affordability of larger properties where they can work from home, and the variety of outdoor activities on offer. “Residents enjoy the quiet and the proximity to Cape Town if they need to pop into the office a few days a week,” says Pam Golding Properties area manager for the Western Cape Shelley Keys. “The lifestyle, a low crime rate and proximity to good schools, shops and a mall, complete the picture.”
In Langebaan the semigration trend has escalated rapidly. “Over the past few years many people, especially from the north, have fallen in love with the town and its lucrative growth opportunities. Then there’s also the slow lifestyle in unspoilt natural surroundings,” says Devmark Property Group national sales manager Bruwer de Jager. The property market in the resale segment between R1,2m and R1,9m is active among young families, according to Bruwer, whereas estates like Devmark’s Langebaan Manor are attracting mature, higher-LSM clients. Other popular developments here include Langebaan Country Estate; Shark Bay; Da Gama, a new development next to the Curro School; and Longacres. Closer to Cape Town, quiet Yzerfontein has a growing population of remote workers, with Fisherman’s Haven and Mile 16 Beach among the sought-after neighbourhoods
The greater Western Seaboard is close to the beautiful beaches at Lagoon Beach, Table View and Blouberg as well as the Durbanville winelands. The area is favoured by families in particular for its proximity to the CBD and the relative affordability of property. Parklands in Table View and Sunningdale and Bloubergstrand in Blouberg were among the top five suburbs searched for nationally on the RE/MAX website during Q3 2020.
“It’s all about the beach, the easy lifestyle and excellent value for money,” says RE/MAX Property Associates broker-owner Caron Leslie. “The Western Seaboard has it all – from mansions in Parklands, to the new security estate Sagewood in Sandown and family homes from R2m upwards.” Even closer to the ocean are popular Bloubergstrand and Big Bay. Shopping malls, restaurants, cycling lanes and the MyCiti bus route add to the appeal for younger buyers.
According to Pam Golding Properties area principal on the Western Seaboard Emarie Campbell, many first-time buyers were tenants during lockdown and favour freehold properties with outside space. “Sales are brisk in the R1m to R2m residential market and unit sales have increased by 35% over the same period in 2019,” she says. “Freehold homes in security estates are in demand in the higher price brackets from R5m up.” Multigenerational Burgundy Estate offers amenities including a shopping centre, schools, a multipurpose sports field and walking and cycling tracks.
This is where developer Rabie Property Group recently launched Bow Tie, its first smart-enabled development. “Our lives have become so integrated with technology, why should your home be any different?” says Rabie director Miguel Rodrigues. Besides high-speed fibre, every apartment and townhouse comes with a Google Nest Hub loaded with the latest Google Assistant, allowing residents to control the lights, regulate the interior temperature and operate the TV. “We’re also fitting each home with an intelligent home security system, manageable from a smartphone – all this at a smart price that makes it possible for first-time homeowners to invest in their own space,” says Rodrigues. Bow Tie will comprise 88 apartments and 18 houses around a park with a children’s play area. Phase 1, launched on 1 October, consists of 48 apartments and 12 houses.
“Even as national house price inflation slows, growth in prices in the Eastern Cape continues to gather momentum” Sandra Gordon, senior research analyst, Pam Golding Properties
Bustling port cities, rolling hills and long Blue Flag beaches – it’s easy to see why there’s brisk activity in residential property sales across all price ranges in the Eastern Cape hubs of Port Elizabeth and East London. “While the housing market here underperformed relative to the national market during much of the past decade, it has enjoyed stronger price growth since late 2017,” says Pam Golding Properties senior research analyst Sandra Gordon. “Now, even as national house price inflation slows, growth in prices in the Eastern Cape continues to gather momentum.”
Pam Golding Properties area principal in Port Elizabeth Justin Kreusch says purchasers are eager to capitalise on the low interest rate. “The greatest demand is for family homes. We’ve had unprecedented activity in areas such as Richmond Hill, Walmer, Summerstrand, Lorraine, Glendinningvale and Mount Croix, as well as across the Western Suburbs. There’s also good activity in the township markets.”
The Amdec Group reports a spike in buyer activity at its multigenerational estate Westbrook too, having sold 24% of the first phase of its second village within a month. MD Clifford Oosthuizen believes the rise in buyers opting for gated estates is a trend that will outlive Covid-19. One of the key draw-cards of the 128-hectare development, located a mere 15km from the city centre, is its green elements with 48ha of open space to maintain the feel of a peaceful, country setting.
Known for its beaches and nearby game reserves, this city also enjoys increased residential sales activity. According to Pam Golding Properties area principal in East London Sean Coetzee, properties across all price ranges are in demand. “If a buyer sees quality and value in a home, they will buy. The lowering of the interest rate has helped drive this sentiment, because price is less of an issue. The most popular price range now is up to the R2m mark,” he says, adding that they recently concluded several top-end sales of more than R5m, too.
Olivewood Estate near Chintsa East continues to draw buyers looking for an ecofriendly lifestyle on a self-sufficient estate, with prices starting from R675,000 for 800m2. Khamanga Bay Private Residential Estate in Cintsa West and Balugha River Estate in Glengariff has also had a resurgence in interest from buyers.
About an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth, Jeffreys Bay has been booming for the past four months, according to estate agents in this surfing hot spot. They’re currently selling three times as many properties as at the same time last year, says Larika Botma of the RealNet Pristine franchise in Jeffreys Bay.
“The prices of properties most in demand range from R1,3m to R1,6m, and it’s becoming a serious problem to find stock for sale, especially in the most popular suburb of Wavecrest,” she says. Jacques Strydom, the new Chas Everitt franchisee in Jeffreys Bay, confirms a spike in sales and says many buyers are relocating from Johannesburg, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Kimberley. “Everything in the R700,000 to R1,8m range is selling very quickly, especially in Wavecrest, Central and Fountains Estate,” he says. “We’re also seeing high demand for stands on the coast close to Jeffreys Bay – especially in the Gamtoos River Mouth area, where stands of 600m2 to 1,000m2 in a nature estate are selling from about R200,000 to R500,000.”