Estate agents working in Langebaan, the attractive West Coast village just 100 km from Cape Town, have only one message to give to those interested in the property prospects in the area – and that is, although prices have now stabilized, they are still at the exceptionally low levels caused by the 2008/2009 downturn. Now, therefore, is a good time to buy in Langebaan.
This was said recently by Emil Weiss, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for Langebaan.
“Long experience in the residential property sector,” said Weiss, “has shown that the public’s reaction to its ups and downs is very similar to the way in which they respond to the Stock Exchange. When prices are genuinely low and bargains are clearly available, a minority of far-sighted, shrewd buyers move in and make a killing. Then, when the trend is clearly upward and prices have already shifted onto higher levels, the general public awaken and follow, often buying at prices 20 to 30% higher than they were in the past.”
Weiss was open and honest about the fact that he does not see any significant price improvement taking place in Langebaan in under one year. However, he said, it will inevitably come because tax and other big financial advantages accompanying the Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), which is now a reality and is going forward at Saldanha Bay, will attract investors not only from South Africa but from all over the world and their projects will draw many staff and workers to the area.
“What we have all come to realize,” said Weiss, “is that the R85 billion that will flow into this area as a result of the IDZ projects will not materialize immediately – it will, in fact, come to us over a period of 20 years. We cannot, therefore, expect a sudden upturn yet – it will come as part of an on-going process. Those buying now will see the benefits in five to ten years, but, I believe, they will be significant.”
Right now, said Weiss, he is being approached daily by a steadily inflow of holiday visitors making enquiries about holiday and retirement homes in the area. Experience, he said, has shown that very few make a decision immediately on these matters, but about 3 to 5% return later in the year having kept in touch with him via email.
Some of the best deals currently available, said Weiss, are in the estates and mega-developments which helped so markedly to put Langebaan on the map a few years ago and which in many cases can also offer the gated, fenced-in secure environment on which many buyers place a high premium these days.
In most of these projects, said Weiss, re-sales are now available at exceptionally good prices, for example at:
Langebaan Country Estate, where vacant stands can be had for R130,000 (an exceptionally good price) and three or four bedroom homes from R1,5 million.
Myburgh Park Country Club (on the southern side of the village with good views from many of the homes on the lagoon). Here, again, houses can be had for R1,5 million, while stands are selling from R380,000.
Langebaan Country Club. Re-sales here are now available from R1 million and plots from R220,000. The last nine holes of the 18 hole championship golf course are being worked on and these will be playable early in the new year.
Blue Lagoon. Stands here are priced from R380,000 and homes from R1,3 million.
Calypso Beach – thought by some to be Langebaan’s most prestigious suburb. This expensive precinct can offer stands from R350,000 and homes from R1,2 million.
Lower prices, said Weiss, can be found in the older parts of Langebaan, provided they are well away from the beachfront. On the beachfront the average price of a home, he said, is now between R2 million and R3,5 million.
Many of those buying now, said Weiss, are doing so to rent out. Three bedroom homes in Langebaan are available at R6,000 to R7,000 per month and two bedroom units from R4,500 upwards. Many of those renting, he said, are taking two or three homes at a time and are doing so to house the staff moving in for the first IDZ work and such welcome initiatives as the 40 unit wind turbine farm and the solar heating project which will be erected at the entrance to Langebaan. Both of these, he said, are forerunners of bigger things to come.
“It has already been said and it remains true that Langebaan’s charm and easy, tolerant lifestyle tend to get a grip on people when they have been here for a few months and make it hard for them to leave. No amount of investment to the north in the Saldanha Bay area will, I believe, alter Langebaan’s essential character, nor in any way spoil what it has to offer: a low crime environment, good weather year-round (the winter rainfall is one-fifth of that of Cape Town), beautiful marine landscapes and a very friendly local population.”