Game/stud/guest and lifestyle farms boost demand for country property
Category Property Markets
Agricultural property remains the mainstay of most of the smaller towns of the Cape countryside, from the Overberg and Southern Cape coast to Namaqualand and the Karoo. Aside from a sustained demand for agricultural farms, game, stud, guest and lifestyle farms are gaining in popularity and have become a big driver of demand for country property according to Mr Ian Badenhorst, managing director of Seeff Country and Karoo.
Owning a farm remains high on the agenda of many. If there is one thing that South Africans love, it is the outdoors and countryside, and we often see people moving from the main urban centres to smaller farming properties, especially in the Cape region, he says.
Farm-house accommodation is very popular globally and these types of farms are well suited as second homes with many owners developing guest house facilities so that they can rent it out when not in use.
The attraction of the countryside is multi-faceted. Aside from reduced stress and no traffic, it offers more security, better services and access to excellent schools, medical facilities and good infrastructure. Most of the areas do not have industrialisation and hence offer clean air and clear skies.
Generally, you are within 1-2 hour's drive at the most from a town and you gain massively on lifestyle benefits, he says. Aside from a better quality of life, you will find that your cost of living is much lower with not just water and electricity cheaper, but food is cheaper and fresh from the farm.
Willie van Rensburg from Seeff Riversdale says that while the market for farming properties has softened on the back of political and policy concerns, those who want to invest in a good game and stud farm, or a lifestyle or guest property continues to do so. The benefit of investing while the market is down, is that prices have been flat for the last two years and there is more stock to choose from, although top end properties remain scarce.
He says further that buyers often want to live on a farm, but don't really want to indulge in commercial farming which adds to the attraction of lifestyle-type farms. Popular areas tend to be close to tourism routes and good water sources and infrastructure.
Game farms are popular with SA and international buyers. Owning a farm in Africa is a sought-after investment and while many want these for their own private use, they are growing in popularity to meet the demand for more tourist products. These properties also contribute to conservation and breeding of Africa's rare game species and rehabilitating and preserving South Africa's unique natural heritage.
He cautions though that if you are going to make a considerable investment in a game or stud farm, that you do your homework and know what you are investing in. It is a specialised sector of the property market, so be sure to work with credible agents who will provide the best guidance in terms of pricing and demand for various types of farming properties.
Seeff highlights what you can expect to pay in some of the popular areas:
Riversdale - R5m to R18m
The Riversdale area offers excellent infrastructure and schools and is considered safe, hence, says Mr van Rensburg, we are seeing an uptick in buyers relocating from the inland provinces, especially Gauteng and the northern regions.
Lifestyle farms are priced from around R5 million to R7 million while game farms range well above this, although overall still offering far more value compared to luxury houses in the big cities.
Seeff is for example marketing Phisante Fontein Farm for R17,9m. The 1381ha property boasts a mix of commercial Lucerne and sheep farming as well as game and guest housing. 1280ha is enclosed by 2,4m high electrified fencing and home to 17 species of game including various buck including Springbuck and Kudu, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and ostrich.
There is excellent infrastructure including two houses, outbuildings, offices, sheds, staff housing and equipment along with hunting/visitors' cottages and a conference venue. The farm has plenty of water with dams, reservoirs, a borehole and irrigation and Eskom electricity. The property can be purchased with or without livestock, game and the movable property.
Expect to pay around R8,32m for one of the best horse stud and training farms in the country which has been operating since 2007. It comprises 225,876ha with water, excellent infrastructure and extensive equestrian and stud facilities which includes breeding and racing stables, a stallion barn, horse paddocks and more. There are two houses, a cottage, staff housing, a function venue, workshop, storage buildings along with water dams, reservoirs, and more.
For a top-class lifestyle farm, expect to pay around R6,99m for a 74ha property suitable for game farming as it is completely fenced with 2.4-meter high Bonox fencing. The property offers stunning views of the Sleeping Beauty mountain and the valley and comes with large biodiversity and excellent infrastructure including a 700sqm homestead, shed and storeroom along with a second house which is ideal to use as a guest house.
Swellendam - R4,3m to R12m
Located midway between Cape Town and George, Swellendam is a popular stop-over with good infrastructure, plenty of water and stunning vistas including the towering Langeberg Mountain. Val Anderton, an agent with Seeff says the town is popular for a variety of farms with lifestyle farms on offer in the R4.3m to R12m range.
Aside from local buyers, the area has also attracted buyers from France, Holland and Zimbabwe and South Africans looking to swop the city for a country lifestyle, preferably where they can be self-sufficient and enjoy off-the-grid living. She says that buyers invest in lifestyle farms and small holdings to get away from city life, but given the close proximity to Swellendam town, they still enjoy a country lifestyle, yet with all the benefits of amenities on their doorstep.
At the top end of the market, a lifestyle farm will set you back around R11,8m for a 60ha property with two dwellings located in the Bushman's Valley. It overlooks the Langeberg Mountain range and has registered water rights, three gravity fed dams which also provides crystal clear drinking water, 8ha of arable land, irrigation a fenced paddock. The main house is a beautiful Tuscan manor with luxury accommodation and finishes. There is also a circa. 1898 Cape Dutch house which serves as a guest cottage with two bedrooms and overlooks the paddocks.
Gansbaai - priced from R3,5m
There is also no shortage of farming properties close to the Cape coast. Anet Rossouw from Seeff Gansbaai says that the coastal location is what makes it popular for lifestyle farm buyers. It is also very accessible for visitors and guests as it is only about two and a half hour's drive from the Cape Town International Airport.
Prices range from R3,5m for a rare 11,64ha property located in the heart of the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy. It has its own small indigenous forest and a small river that flows for ten months of the year through the property. There is a small two-bedroomed cottage on the farm, built in a Cape vernacular style and the property definitely offers further development opportunity.
Find Seeff on the property portals or visit www.seeff.com. Contact Willie van Rensburg from Seeff Riversdale on 028 713 3355, Val Anderton from Swellendam on 083 785 5653 and Anet Rossouw from Gansbaai on 082 455 6437
PROP1 - Riversdale - Game farm (Phisante Fontein) for R17,9m
(www.seeff.com, web ref. 3538394)
PROP2 - Riversdale - Horse stud farm for R8,32m
(www.seeff.com, web ref. 3472164)
PROP3 - Swellendam - Lifestyle farm for R11,8m
(www.seeff.com, web ref. 3386708)
PROP4 - Gansbaai - Lifestyle farm (Uilenkraalsmond) for R3,5m
(www.seeff.com, web ref. 3351180)
Author: Gina Meintjes