Semigrants Spend Millions to Live in Stilbaai
Stilbaai is renowned among water sports enthusiasts and has long been a popular vacation and surfing destination for both Capetonians and visitors from SA’s northern provinces, especially during December.
However, its location just 26km off the main N2 Garden Route between Cape Town and Mossel Bay, and its temperate climate with warm summers and mild winters, is now also making it a hot choice for retirees as well as remote workers and work-from-home business owners who have discovered that they no longer need to live close to an office in the city to be productive.
“Large numbers of these remote workers or telecommuters have been leaving the cities in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic,” notes Chas Everitt Southern Cape franchisee Charles de Kock, “and coastal villages like Stilbaai, where they can enjoy a more restful, holistic lifestyle but still be close to a bigger urban centre with shops, medical facilities and good schools, are their main targets.
“As a result, many of these villages have seen a bigger percentage of home buyers seeking to become full-time residents instead of holiday homeowners, and this has boosted property demand and underpinned prices in these areas. As an example, our area specialist Jeanne Hamman has sold more than 60 homes in the past year – worth a total of over R85m – to people who have relocated to the village permanently.”
Stilbaai is situated at the mouth of the Goukou River on the Southern Cape coast. It is a prime spot for whale watching in the spring and attracts a huge influx of holidaymakers in the summer who enjoy swimming, boating and water-skiing in its lagoon – which is navigable for around 15km inland – as well as its pristine beaches on either side of the river, a wide range of accommodation options and several excellent local restaurants.
Other attractions for permanent residents include panoramic views from many homes of the warm Indian Ocean-bay beyond the river mouth – which offers ideal conditions for surfing, windsurfing, sailing, angling and sea-kayaking.
And for those more interested in land-based activities, the area around the village offers three nature reserves, several hiking trails and interesting historical sites, including the Blombos cave, where some of the oldest art in the world was discovered. The nearby Soete Inval botanical garden also showcases traditional gardening methods and a wide range of fynbos species from across the region.
Stilbaai is divided into two sections on either side of the river, with the eastern section being where most of the holiday accommodation is located, close to the most popular beach, and the western side being home to more permanent residents, the municipal offices and most shops.
The village has three retirement communities, two shopping centres containing supermarkets and a range of other outlets to meet most convenience retail needs, as well as its own small medical centre. There are also two public primary schools in the village, and one private primary school.
Prices for apartments currently for sale in Stilbaai start at around R430 000 for a one- bedroom holiday apartment in Stilbaai East and range up to around R1,7m or more for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with a view of the ocean.
Retirement home prices start at around R1,45m for a three-bedroom cottage, and those for freehold family homes start at around R1,8m and range up to around R6,5m.
In addition, there are several new lifestyle estates being developed in the area now, and many new residents are also opting to buy a stand and build their own home. Stand prices start at around R350 000 and range up to around R2,2m, depending on size, position and sea views.