Areas and Places

Where to start your search for a bargain beach property

Lightstone, a provider of comprehensive data, analytics and systems on property, automotive and business assets identifies bargain beach property. 


Many of South Africa’s beaches are home to some of the most luxurious properties in the country and it is not uncommon for buyers to pay significantly extra for properties right next to or within walking distance of the beach. In many holiday towns, the price tag that is paid for this luxury precludes many middle income South African families from buying properties close to the beach.

Last month Lightstone analysed the average value of properties that are located within 500 meters of the beach. As expected, it was found that not only is there a fair amount of variation in the average house price of properties for the different provinces, but also between different holiday towns. This month, they take a look at the price of true beach front properties in each of these towns and shed some light on where to start looking for good value while maintaining a decent walking distance from the beach.

“In order to answer this question Lightstone estimated the average house price of properties at different distances from the beach. Each property was placed in a group starting with beachfront (within 100 meters from the beach), possible beachfront (100 to 200 meters) followed by 200 meter increments from there. We then track the rate at which property prices drop as you move further away from the beach,” says Paul-Roux de Kock, Analytics Director at Lightstone.

KwaZulu Natal

“When looking at a couple of towns on the KZN coast, the downward trend in average price as you move further away from the beach is apparent in all of them. What is interesting though is that you see the trend flatten out at around 600 meters for the South coast towns and at around 800 meters for Durban and Ballito. At these break points the impact of the distance-to-beach on the average price has deteriorated but does not significantly affect the property price anymore.

Another interesting observation is the price bubble seen in Durban between 800 and 1400 meters from the beach. This can be attributed to the high value northern suburbs like La Lucia, Glen Ashley and Virginia where the majority of the properties lie a bit further away from the beach to the west of the M4 highway,” says de Kock.

Eastern Cape

When analysing the average price of properties close to the beach in the Eastern Cape, it is interesting that property prices of the different beaches differ more significantly the closer they are to the beach but become more alike the further they are from the beach. The average price of true beach front properties are about R2 650 000 in Port Elizabeth, R1 750 000 in Port Alfred and R1 900 000 in Jeffreys bay. The difference in average property price between these three towns starts becoming insignificant for properties situated between 1000 and 2000 meters away from the beach as it converges to a value of about R1 000 000. “This indicates that although each town has unique factors impacting beachfront properties, the location effect also wears off as you travel further away from the beach. Once again the break point where the trends start to flatten out is at around 600 to 800 meters from the beach,” explains de Kock.

Western Cape

In the Western Cape we see significant differences in the beachfront properties of the different towns. The amplified effect of distance-to-beach on property prices at strong tourist destinations like Cape Town is highlighted by a much steeper drop in price as you move away from the beach. “Where most of the Western Cape towns’ prices stabilise at around 800 meters, the trend for Cape Town itself only stabilises at around 1400 meters from the beach. This is largely attributed to properties on the Atlantic seaboard where Lions Head and Table mountain form a sloping land-locked area of around 1400 from the ocean where there are high premiums paid for properties with spectacular ocean views, although they might not be physically close to the beach ,”adds de Kock.


de Kock concludes, “Coastal property prices are significantly influenced by the combination of the specific town and the distance-to-beach. The price impact gradually wears off as we move further away from the beach and we also observe optimal break points where the trend stabilises.”

Other than cities with specific topographical and other geographical factors that impact the trend, the golden number seems to be at around 600 to 800 meters from the beach. While there are a lot of other factors that also play a role in determining the price for a property, it is generally at this point where one could expect to pay a price that is not considerably loaded due to its proximity to the beach and should be a good place to start for prospective buyers that are looking for value-for-money properties within walking distance of the beach.

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