The picturesque Riebeek Valley has long been popular as a weekend getaway for Capetonians and a permanent place of residence for entrepreneurs and farmers, as well as those working from home or involved in creative fields. Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that its residential property market continues to reflect this popularity, with a recent increase in activity at the top end of the market.
The valley lies just 80km from Cape Town, and is easily accessible from the city within one hour’s drive. Its towns of Riebeek West and Riebeek Kasteel enjoy a magnificent setting on the slopes of the Kasteelberg mountain, and are surrounded by wheat-fields, vineyards and olive groves.
PGP’s area manager Gail Friedlander says up until the final quarter of 2013, prices for residential homes in the valley seldom passed the R2.5 million mark. “However we have seen this change substantially in the past six months,” she says “initially with a sale concluded by PGP for R3.75 million in November 2013. The buyer was a returning expatriate medical professional. Our agents have since gone on to break the elusive R4 million barrier not once but twice this year, with two residential sales over R4 million concluded in March/April 2014. Much of our recent sales activity has been in the upper price brackets, and there are a number of beautiful homes on the market in the R3.5 million to R5 million range.”
PGP’s 2013 sales in the valley bear out this trend of increased prices – the agency concluded 22 sales over the course of the year, to a total value of R63.8 million. This included both farm and residential sales.
Pricing levels in the valley currently start at around R1.2 million for a small home with two or three bedrooms, going up to the price bracket from R1.9 million to R2.5 million for a larger family home with three or four bedrooms, a double garage and good views. Top end homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, large living areas, security and sizable gardens are currently priced between R3.9 million and R4.8 million.
“It is not only sales that are seeing an increase in value, but rentals too,” adds Friedlander. “PGP agents recently finalised a lease for a residential home at R16 000 per month – the highest price ever achieved for a rental in the valley, topping the previous record of R10 000.”
Farm buyers have also been active in the area, and PGP agents have recently concluded three farm sales to a total value of R34.9 million, with a further R6 million in farm sales currently awaiting transfer.
Friedlander attributes the rising prices and top end activity levels not only to signs of general property market recovery, but also to the improved accessibility of the area. “The new double lane highway to Malmesbury is nearing completion, and should be finished within the next 18 months,” she says. “This will improve traffic flow and reduce commuting times into the Swartland, further boosting the appeal of the Riebeek Valley. Visitors and residents alike enjoy its tranquil setting and slow pace of life, while a thriving artistic community finds inspiration in the beautiful natural surroundings.”