Seeff's guide to the coastal towns of Namibia
Category Property Markets
Swakopmund was recently voted "Kwela Town of the year" and this is bringing renewed focus back to Namibia, says Maria Esterhuysen, Seeff's MD at Seeff Namibia.
"It was only three years ago that the coastal town of Henties Bay grabbed the attention of many KykNET viewers by winning the title, but this year - with more than double the amount of votes than its competitors - Swakopmund was appointed the winner".
Esterhuysen says Swakopmund is known for its German styled architecture, beautiful beaches and views of the red dunes of the Namib Desert overlooking the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
"Swakopmund is not only a favourite destination with tourists, but also with local Namibians. The town appeals to both holiday makers and property buyers, whether for investment purposes or residential needs.
One of the appealing factors of living in Swakopmund is the moderate temperatures, rarely varying with more than 10 degrees between minimum and maximum.
When roaming the streets of Swakopmund, visitors can experience the ambiance of the town and its friendly people while enjoying lovely local and German style cuisine at any of the numerous restaurants.
While swimming in the almost waveless waters of the main beach, known as The Molen, or by visiting one of the various restaurants with views of the ocean, spectators will almost certainly be able to spot schools of dolphins swimming close to shore.
Swakopmund lies stretched out between river, ocean and desert, offering property owners a variety of favourable locations to settle down in.
Brand new developments in different areas of Swakopmund offer first time buyers, growing families and even those who consider scaling down the opportunity to do so in a brand new modern townhouse or apartment.
New developments such as Desert Dunes located in the new extension of Kramersdorp is ideal for first time buyers with one bedroom apartments selling from N$ 790,000, two bedroom units from N$1,190,000 and three bedroom units from N$1,390,000.
Swakopmund 301 is a brand new development situated in the main street of central Swakopmund and represents the essence of lifestyle living.
It offers well located office space, luxury two bedroom apartments and an exceptional loft unit with panoramic views of the town.
Office space is selling from N$ 1,490,000 and two bedroom apartments from N$ 1,890,000.
The beachfront offers exclusive lifestyle living at a premium to those who appreciate the sound of rolling waves. Vacant beachfront property has become a rare find and leans towards the higher end of the coastal market.
Beachfront stands sell for prices ranging between N$ 3,700 up to N$ 7,600 per sqm and units with beach view can easily range between N$ 3,000,000 up to N$ 8,500,000.
Freestanding homes with uninterrupted sea views can range in price between N$ 6,500,000 and N$ 16,500,000 with square meter prices varying between N$ 21 000 per sqm to N$ 32 000 per sqm.
The town offers plenty to its residents with well-developed infrastructure like medical and retirement facilities and private schools offering international curriculums in various languages.
For the adventurous Swakopmund is known for its outdoor activities such as skydiving, balloon rides, scenic flights, dune surfing, dune gliding, sand boarding, quad biking, kayaking, wave surfing, paddle boarding, fishing, camel rides, horse riding or a 4x4 adventure along the red sand dunes or the coast line.
Rossmund Golf Estate also offers one of the world's few full grass desert golf courses.
Walvis Bay, meaning "Whale Bay" derived its name from the large number of Southern Right whales which were drawn to this part of the ocean.
Not only is Walvis Bay known for its natural harbour that houses a great variety of vessels, but also for its rich marine life and beautiful lagoon that can blush pink with flamingos preying on shrimp.
Some attractions and activities to enjoy include bird watching at Birds Island, dune boarding at Dune 7, windsurfing and kayaking on the lagoon, fishing at Sandwich harbour or enjoying fresh oysters and sparkling wine while experiencing Walvis Bay from the blue waters on an Ocean Adventure.
Walvis Bay is home to almost 70,000 people. A large portion of the local residents are employed in fisheries and industries related to the harbour and shipping.
Due to the more recent upgrades and expansion of the harbour, many businesses, factories and industries have located themselves in Walvis Bay.
Walvis Bay offers plenty to its residents with excellent infrastructure including an international airport and one of the largest shopping centres in Namibia.
Henties Bay is located 70km north of Swakopmund and is most famous for its long stretches of sun-kissed beaches, its shore fishing of species like Kabeljou, Steenbras and Galjoen or simply for enjoying a drive on the unspoilt beaches where one can still find a variety of wildlife in the Dorob National Park.
The property market in Henties Bay still offers properties with amazing views of the ocean at a reasonable price. Stands with sea views can vary in sizes up to 1000 sqm and sell for an average of N$ 800 000, whereas sea view homes sell from N$ 2,300,000 and upwards.
With limited space for new beachfront extensions and development opportunity, the reasonable prices currently experienced may change in the future.
Beachfront stands sell from close to N$ 1,500,000 and upwards and beachfront houses can still be purchased from N$ 5,000,000.
Not only is Henties Bay popular with residents and holiday makers who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle in a smaller town, but retired couples also seem to find the atmosphere and slower pace of this small town suited for settling down.
For the creative eye there is a lot of opportunity for renovating older homes. Affordable house prices make this a town with plenty of opportunity. One can still find a fix-me-upper for N$ 1,200,000 or less.
Due to growth in the population of Henties Bay, there are a rising number of new homes being built in some of the new extensions.
The road to Henties Bay has recently been tarred making it the new gateway to the Northern regions of Namibia.
CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS AND THE NAMIBIAN ECONOMY
The Sun, a local Namibian newspaper, recently reported on the predictions of the International Monetary Fund that Namibia is likely to remain in recession throughout 2019.
This will be the third consecutive year of negative economic growth. The prediction is based on the negative forecast on the drought and lower production of diamonds this year.
Despite the above predictions, Seeff Namibia has achieved a 41% growth in sales in the first quarter of 2019 measured against the first quarter of 2018.
Namibia has experienced a downward spiral in the economy and property market since 2016. The market has not regained its strength yet and therefore Namibia still finds itself in a buyer's-market.
A Namibian economist mentioned that an average property stays on the market for four months and that most sellers are forced to drop their selling prices with 12% before securing a sale.
According to the FNB housing index, house prices still reflect a gradual decline in real terms (taking inflation into consideration).
Foreign property investment is welcomed in Namibia. There are no restrictions on foreigners securing bonds with Namibian banks or financial institutions.
There are also currently only restrictions on the ownership of agricultural land, preventing foreigners from 100% ownership of agricultural land.
There is no restriction on residential, commercial and industrial property. Foreigners may also own any businesses in Namibia.
This ultra-modern beachfront family home in Swakopmund has four bedrooms and is listed for N$ 13 990 000.
Author: Tanya Van Buuren