On more than one occasion Bill Rawson, Chairman of the Rawson Property Group, has said that Simon’s Town and the False Bay coast south of it are areas “whose time is about to come”.
“There has for some four or five years been a growing interest in this precinct,” says Leon Bosman, co-franchisee of the Rawson Property Group’s Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town franchises. “The difficulty, however, is that most of the available properties in the Miller’s Point region which is situated five kilometres south of Simon’s Town and where many people want to live, are not developable – and therefore suitable only for dedicated nature lovers, not those hoping to make a quick profit – because the Western Cape authorities are determined to ensure that it remains as beautiful and unspoilt in the future.”
The few purchase opportunities here, as indicated, are mostly being marketed by the Rawson Property Group, which has mandates for three of the most attractive properties available. All of these have panoramic views across False Bay, from Cape Hangklip to Gordon’s Bay – and have spectacular mountain backdrops.
The first property on offer is approximately 37 ha of land stretching from Millers Point to Partridge Point and from the ocean’s high water mark to the rock face of the mountain ridge, where it starts at Table Mountain and culminates at Cape Point. The area is cut at its low level by the road to Cape Point.
The land is currently owned by a Simon’s Town resident, who has put it into the Cape Point Marine Trust. The property, says Bosman, has some of the Cape Peninsula’s most spectacular fynbos and is home to a wide variety of animals, including grysbok, otters, genet, mongoose, civet, lynx, baboons and snakes.
Major development on the 37 ha, says Bosman, is very unlikely to ever be allowed, but the owner would have the right to build one large home and it is conceivable that this could be used as a game lodge and be the focal point of a network of walking trails open to the public for a fee. The property could therefore become income producing.
Should the buyer wish to avoid the rates and taxes on the property and the cost of eradicating alien plants (a duty that is unavoidable), he could hand over the property to the Cape Point Nature Reserve but still retain his ownership status and the right to live there.
The price for this property is R10 million, which, as Bosman points out, possibly represents the cheapest per hectare land ever made available in the Cape Peninsula.
The second property for sale by the Rawson Property Group franchise is a 1,438 m² plot that is part of a beautiful amphitheatre above the road to Cape Point but within easy walking distance of Castle Rock’s small beaches and well-known fishing rocks. The buyer of this plot might have difficulty in getting permission to build an access road (although others have been built in the area), but would be allowed to build footpath access.
Again the plot has pristine fynbos and a mountain stream which runs year-round. The current owner is asking R1 million for the plot, which, Bosman points out again, is exceptionally cheap for such a valuable view site.
The third opportunity being offered by the Rawson Property Group in this area is a half share (in fact two one-quarter shares) in a small two bedroom wooden cottage at Smitswinkel Bay. This cottage has been owned jointly by four sisters for years, two of whom now wish to sell, and it is possible that the other two might also opt out.
Smitswinkel Bay has 22 cottages and is prohibited from any further development. It is, says Bosman, the ultimate nature lover’s getaway – it has no road access and all the owners, their friends and tenants park at the road level caravan site and then walk down one of two paths, one of which is fairly steep, the other longer but easy to negotiate.
Several owners have small fishing boats which are kept on the beach and both the swimming and fishing are exceptionally good here.
“There can be no better retreat or refuge from today’s busy world in the entire Cape Peninsula than a home at Smitswinkel Bay,” says Bosman.
The price of the two shares in the cottage has been set at R1,25 million. The prospective buyer should note, however, that the cottage has only occasional cell phone reception and no TV reception at all – but this is part of its attraction for many.
“These offers,” says Bosman, “are all very unusual and unique in their own way. We are hoping that countrywide publicity will produce the right sort of buyer for each of them, i.e. a genuine nature lover.”