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 here
WORDS: HELÉNE MEISSENHEIMER – PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
SA’s Cape West Coast and East Coast regions with their relaxed family-friendly lifestyle, unspoilt beaches and many outdoor activities woo both semigrants and investors to commit to property there. Lightstone Property data on residential transfers from Q3 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 or 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.
With quaint fishing villages, spectacular wildflowers and a largely pristine coastline, The West Coast is a popular holiday destination. 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 good schools, shops and a mall nearby 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 is the slow lifestyle in unspoilt natural surroundings,” says Devmark Property Group national sales manager Bruwer de Jager. The market in the resale segment between R1.2m and R1.9m is very active among young families, according to Bruwer, whereas estates like Devmark’s Langebaan Manor are attracting mature, higher-LSM clients. Other trendy developments here include Langebaan Country Estate, Shark Bay, Da Gama and Longacres. Closer to Cape Town, quiet Yzerfontein has a growing population of remote workers. Fisherman’s Haven and Mile 16 Beach are among the most sought-after neighbourhoods.
The greater Western Seaboard is close to the 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 here. 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.” In 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 outdoor space.
“Sales are brisk in the R1m to R2m residential market and unit sales have increased by 35% year on year,” she says. “Freehold homes in security estates are in demand in the higher price brackets from R5m up.” Multigenerational Burgundy Estate offers amenities such as schools, a shopping centre 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 unit 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,” he says. Bow Tie will comprise 88 apartments and 18 houses around a park with a children’s play area. Phase 1, launched on October 1, consists of 48 apartments and 12 houses.
“Our lives have become so integrated with technology, why should your home be any different?” Miguel Rodrigues, director, Rabie Property Group
Bustling port cities, rolling hills and long Blue Flag beaches – it’s easy to see why there is 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 shown stronger price growth since late 2017,” says Sandra Gordon, Pam Golding Properties senior research analyst. “Now, even as national house price inflation slows, growth in prices in the Eastern Cape continues to gather momentum.”
- PORT ELIZABETH: 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 and Mount Croix, as well as across the western suburbs. There is 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 Phase 1 of its second village in 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 draw-cards of this 128ha development, 15km from the city centre, is 48ha of peaceful open space.
- EAST LONDON: Known for its beaches and nearby game reserves, this city has also had increased residential sales activity. Pam Golding Properties area principal in East London Sean Coetzee says properties across all the price ranges are in demand. “If buyers see quality and value, they will buy. The lower interest rate has helped drive this sentiment. The most popular price range is up to the R2m mark,” he says, adding that they also recently concluded top-end sales of more than R5m. Olivewood Estate near Chintsa East draws buyers looking for an eco-friendly lifestyle on a self-sufficient estate, with prices starting from R675,000. Khamanga Bay Private Residential Estate in Cintsa West and Balugha River Estate in Glengariff, too, have had a resurgence in interest from buyers.
- JEFFREYS BAY: About an hour’s drive southwest of Port Elizabeth, Jeffreys Bay has been booming for the past four months, according to estate agents in this surfing hot spot. They are currently selling three times as many properties compared with 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 is 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, saying 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,” Strydom says. “We’re also seeing high demand for coastal stands near 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.”