A prediction made by Marijanne Nieuwenhoven over a year ago that Yzerfontein, the Cape West Coast fishing and holiday village 87 km from Cape Town, would become exceptionally popular has proved to be correct – so much so that there is now only a limited number of homes for sale.
“A year ago,” said Nieuwenhoven, “we were able to offer buyers a comfortable three bedroom, two garage home fairly close to the village centre at R1,2 million to R1,3 million. Today we have very little stock under R1,5 million and most of what is for sale is priced at R2 million plus.”
Those buying here, said Niewenhoven, are assured of further excellent capital appreciation because, although they will be paying more than they were a year ago, the stock shortage situation will probably push up prices for the foreseeable future.
People buying above R2 million almost always want an unimpeded sea view or a site on the beach, but it is exactly these properties which are now the hardest to come by.
“The simple truth is, firstly, that people really love living here and are always extremely reluctant to sell and, secondly, that the second home/holiday home market has recovered far faster than most people expected and is back to full health. This means that most of today’s owners are no longer under pressure to reduce their assets and sell — as many were during the recession.”
In a stock shortage situation, added Nieuwenhoven, builders of new homes are usually much in demand, but again there are relatively few of them in Yzerfontein. She has, however, been mandated to sell three new homes that will come on stream this year and these will be priced between R 995,000 and R 1,9 million. The builder, she said, likes to complete his homes before selling them and this enables him to show just how good the finishes and fittings are.
“We keep a list of, and diligently follow up with potential buyers waiting to see the final product and those who have asked us to contact them as soon as opportunities crop up.”
Several factors, said Nieuwenhoven, come as a surprise to those who are not familiar with Yzerfontein and its very special atmosphere. These she said are:
1. A fair number of local residents are now commuting to the city two to five days per week.
Being situated 87 km from Cape Town, Yzerfontein is an ideal village from which to run any business where much of the work can be done via the internet. Out of peak hours, it is possible to be in the city centre within 70 to 80 minutes.
2. The small town has an active social life – for those who want to join in. At bases such as the boat and bowls clubs’ regular functions, braai and potjiekos evenings, bingo and other social events are held regularly and much enjoyed by those who attend.
3. The ski boat fishing fraternity, using the safe and recently upgraded small boat harbour, is still making good catches and, despite the dire situation in the Western Cape fishing industry, these are still entirely satisfactory.
4. The security of the village, which has only one entrance and exit point which is camera controlled is “possibly its most reassuring feature and results in an almost crime free lifestyle”.
5. The quietness of the village remains completely unaffected by the influx of new residents, almost all of whom are able to join the convivial bi-lingual fraternity and who often testify that it is the peace of the village which they find is its chief attraction.
“It has been said,” said Nieuwenhoven, “that this is the most peaceful town in South Africa today and I, who have lived here for 12 years, certainly agree with that.”