The Cape’s beachfront lifestyle may come at a premium in some luxury suburbs, but it is not necessarily out of reach of the average family buyer. Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that the city’s Western Seaboard offers a good combination of panoramic views, easy beach access and affordable prices – in particular the area of Milnerton, located just 10km north of the Central City. PGP’s area principal for the Western Seaboard, Emarie Campbell, says Milnerton is popular for its well-built family homes on good-sized plots, while its beachfront enclaves of Woodbridge Island and Lagoon Beach offer attractive options for those in the sectional title market.
“All three areas share the benefit of their location,” says Campbell, “adjacent to long sandy beaches offering laid-back leisure opportunities, yet still within quick commuting distance of the city. Accessibility has been further improved by the MyCiti bus system, while dedicated cycling and running lanes offer convenience and safety for active residents. Many homes enjoy panoramic mountain and ocean views, and there are abundant opportunities for water-sports on the ocean or on the Milnerton Lagoon. All major amenities including shopping, schools and medical care are also accessible within a few kilometres’ radius.”
Milnerton ideal for families
For family buyers seeking an affordable free-standing home with nicely sized gardens, Milnerton is an ideal choice. While its sectional title apartments are always popular, close to 60% of the suburb is given over to freehold houses, with erven usually measuring close to 1000sqm. Prices can vary greatly depending on the age and condition of the home. “For those who want to re-model and put their own personal stamp on their home, there are several older houses dating back to the 1950’s and 1960’s, which occupy prime plots and would be the ideal renovation project,” says Campbell. “These are priced from around R1.8 million, going up to a mid-range of between R2.4 million and R2.6 million for those in better condition. At the top end of the market, more recently-built homes with modern conveniences and finishes can fetch anywhere between R5 million and R7 million.”
Up-country buyers in particular appreciate the size of the plots, and the area is viewed as an ideal environment for a young active family, with access to a healthy outdoor lifestyle, as well as good primary and high schools
In the calendar year from May 2013 to April 2014, a total of 121 sales were registered in Milnerton, totalling close to R180 million. The highest activity levels were seen in the R1.5 million to R3 million range. Campbell says the highest demand at present is for family homes priced from R2.2 million to R2.6 million. (Stats – Propstats and Lightstone, sales by all agencies)
Sectional title units in Lagoon Beach and Woodbridge Island
While Milnerton “proper” may be sought-after for its family homes, Lagoon Beach and Woodbridge Island are dominated by sectional title properties. Lagoon Beach consists of mainly apartments, flanked by Marine Drive and the ocean. Woodbridge Island is a peninsula connected to the mainland by a single bridge access point, and is a secure estate consisting mainly of simplexes and duplexes.
“These two areas have a particularly appealing lifestyle thanks to their proximity to the Milnerton Lagoon and its unique ecosystem,” says Campbell. “Residents can come home from work and go for an evening paddle-board or kayak, while enjoying the abundant bird and aquatic life. Both areas enjoy notable ocean sunsets due to their West-facing aspects – best enjoyed from a beachfront restaurant.”
Currently stock levels are low in the market, putting upward pressure on prices. A one-bedroomed 45sqm apartment at Neptune Isle in Lagoon Beach can be purchased for around R1 million, going up to R1.5 million for a two-bedroomed apartment. Although seldom available, a top end 200sqm unit at Spinnakers might sell for around R3.5 million. On Woodbridge Island, prices range from around R2.7 million for a three-bedroomed 131sqm unit, while a sea-facing duplex might fetch well over R3 million.
Lagoon Beach saw 21 properties change hands in 2013, at an average of around R1.5 million. Twenty-three homes were sold on Woodbridge Island, at an average of around R2 million. Almost half of these sales were to older buyers (aged 65+) purchasing for their retirement. The chief demand at present is for two-bedroomed units priced below R1.5 million.
“The market is definitely shifting from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market,” says Campbell, “with prices escalating due to the limited stock on offer. There is no doubt that buyers will continue to be attracted by the combination of beachfront living, good accessibility and value for money. The announcement of an additional R4.3 billion investment in the nearby Century City complex can also only benefit the Milnerton area, as it will contribute to an overall sense of prosperity as well as driving demand for homes within reach of the new work opportunities created.”