Southern and Eastern Cape coastal market tops R6.4bn for last year
Category Property Markets
Transactions worth almost R6.4bn were recorded across the Garden Route and Eastern Cape coastal towns for the last year as demand for coastal living and a continued influx of semigration buyers kept the market active.
Seeff’s licensees in Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, St Francis Bay, Jeffreys Bay and the Kenton on Sea/Port Edward area say that while an inevitable degree of decline has set in and prices have flattened, property investments have held firmly.
These are some of the best run towns with clean beaches and good infrastructure and schools and excellent amenities. No surprise then that many of these towns are now an affordable alternative to the Cape.
The healthy climate and property affordability mean that buyers get more bang for their buck according to the licensees. The areas are especially attractive to families, retirees and holiday/second home buyers.
There’s a growing rental market supported by a mix of residential, commercial and holiday rental demand. Emigration sales remain low while semigration continues at a pace.
Mossel Bay holds the status of best run town in SA and Kaaiman Schutte, Seeff licensee for the area says it is well deserved. The town is clean with beautiful beaches and a fabulous village vibe with street cafés and restaurants, décor stores and more. The Langeberg Mall offers big brand shopping, restaurants and more.
The town achieved some R1.7bn in transactions and is one of the few which achieved positive y/y price growth of 8% for sectional title, 22% for freehold and 16% for estate homes according to Lightstone data. It is a holiday and retirement hotspot and offers excellent amenities for families. Popular hot spots include Dias Beach, Hartenbos, Groot and Klein Brak, Tergniet and the Oubaai Golf Estate.
George, the commercial heart of the Garden Route also achieved over R1.7bn and y/y price growth of 14% for sectional title and 10% for freehold. Pieter Jordaan, Seeff’s licensee says the market remains steady and a correctly priced property under R2m can sell within days to a few weeks. Most property sell for 10% below the asking price and the R1m to R1.5m range remains active.
Activity includes elderly people downscaling, sellers looking to dispose of investment properties, an influx of families and buy-to-let investors. Estates remain attractive for buyers looking for security and lockup and go convenience.
Although Knysna has seen some decline, the market achieved well over R910 million. Gail Rimbault, Seeff licensee says the town offers several major attractions, from the beautiful waterfront estates to two of the country’s most sought-after golf estates, being Pezula and Simola and the neighbouring village of Sedgefield. There is a broad choice of property types and price points on offer.
With almost R700 million in transactions Plettenberg Bay remains active and Kevin Engelsman, Seeff licensee says the market appears to have bottomed out. Activity has been predominantly in the R1.5m-R3m up to R5m price bands. Properties take around 95 days to sell and achieve about 91% of the asking prices. Reasons for selling tends to be economic with second holiday homes and a small percentage of emigration-related selling. The market offers excellent value below R5m.
Jeffreys Bay meanwhile achieved over R800 million with transactions volumes remaining fairly even since 2016, although price growth has flattened. The town attracts a good mix of young and old buyers.
As a surfing mecca, it offers fabulous beaches, rivers and nature reserves with plenty of adventure, birding and angling says Gerrie Nieuwenhuis, Seeff’s licensee. The amenities are excellent with good schools and a bustling commercial centre. Port Elizabeth is only an hour away for other needs including the super-regional Baywest Mall.
The St Francis Bay market achieved over R440 million and here too, transactions volumes remained steady between 2018-2019 although it is now showing some decline as it catches up to the economic realities says Desiree Ferreira, Seeff’s licensee.
This beautiful coastal resort town offers excellent waterside living and a range of properties. There’s still plenty of land from around R250 000 and houses from R1.2m in the village and R2m on the canals and in the golf estate.
Port Alfred and Kenton on Sea have seen some decline and achieved R120 million in transactions last year. Simon Oliver, Seeff licensee says the market for second holiday homes is subdued and overall, stock levels are rising thus putting pressure on asking prices. Properties in the R2m-R4m range are taking longer to sell, but below that, if accurately priced, will sell quite quickly.
Most sellers are looking to cash in given that prices had grown well over the last few years and are now looking to downsize or move into a retirement complex and keep the rest of the money as a nest egg.
The area is renowned for its schools and the celebrated Rhodes University in Makhanda (Grahamstown). Most buyers are parents of children at school in Grahamstown. We also get buyers from the farming community and from friends and family of those living here already. Attractions include the malaria-free Big-five game farms, golfing at the Royal Port Alfred and Fish River Country Club courses, Blue Flag beaches and water sport. The market currently offers excellent value, concludes Mr Oliver.
Photograph enclosed: George – on the market for R13m, this spectacular home offers volume and space and panoramic views of island lake and the Outeniqua Mountains. It offers 720sqm under roof with several living rooms and five bedroom suites, a stunning garden and infinity pool on a plot of 2268sqm. It currently serves as a 4-star guest house.
Author: Gina Meintjes