Only a little over an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the quiet village of Sandbaai is increasingly being seen as an ideal weekend getaway from the city as well as a permanent residential destination. One of the newer satellite areas adjacent to popular Hermanus, whale capital of the Cape’s Overberg coastline, Sandbaai lies sandwiched between mountain and sea, just south of the entrance to the picturesque Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Sandbaai has developed between Hermanus and its neighbouring town of Onrus – a position which places it just a stone’s throw away from the larger town’s amenities, yet allows it to maintain a quiet small-town ambience and a slower pace of life.
Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that besides its scenic and convenient location, a good variety of homes and affordable pricing are key factors attracting buyers to Sandbaai at present, whether for a weekend leisure getaway or for a primary residence.
PGP agent Jenny Pienaar says the village has a mix of property options, from high-end beachfront houses to older family homes, plus a large selection of sectional title and cluster homes. “Entry level pricing starts at a very competitive R550 000 for a sectional title property or smaller cottage on the eastern side of the village,” she says, “going up to approximately R750 000 to R1.4 million for a mid-level cluster or freehold home. Even the top-end beachfront properties located on or close to Marine Drive, or on the western side in Branderdraai, are well priced, ranging from R1.5 million to R4.5 million. The highest price ever achieved in the village was a PGP sale in March 2012 of a top-end beachfront home, which sold for R4.85 million. This is substantially less than one might expect to pay for a seaside home in other parts of the greater Hermanus area.”
The resulting popularity of the village is clear – 2013 sales saw an increase of 65 percent in unit numbers, from 106 properties sold in 2012 to 175 the following year. Already in 2014 over 70 properties have been transferred. Pienaar says the highest demand at present is for homes under R1 million on the western side of the village. (Stats – sales by all agencies, including both freehold and sectional title properties).
While demand tends to be dominated by upcountry buyers purchasing homes for retirement use, young families are increasingly becoming part of the buyer mix in Sandbaai, chiefly due to the educational facilities on offer in the village. Over and above a Montessori primary school and numerous pre-primary schools, the area has since 2011 had a Curro private school. This is proving to be a significant draw-card for families wishing to raise their children away from the big city, without compromising on the quality of their education.
There is also significant appeal for investor buyers wanting to capitalise on the rentals market in Sandbaai. PGP agent Sandra Boshoff says there is substantial and ever-increasing demand for rental properties due to the area’s growing commercial sector, as well as its convenient location between Hermanus and Onrus. “The demand comes mainly from younger people entering the workplace for the first time,” she says, “who want to live close to work and recreational facilities. Apartments and townhouses are in particular demand, and one can expect to achieve rentals of around R3200 to R3500 per month for a one- or two-bedroomed apartment, while two- or three-bedroomed townhouses fetch anywhere from R4400 to R6700 per month.
“The beauty of buying in Sandbaai is that you can enjoy all the benefits of living in a small community, close to the sea, yet with every major amenity close at hand, including a private and newly-upgraded government hospital and major shopping in Hermanus, as well as an abundance of local sports clubs, catering for everything from golf and bowls to tennis, cricket and many more activities,” says Pienaar. “The proximity to the Hemel-en-Aarde village is also appealing, as this offers a characterful mix of shops, studios, restaurants and farm stalls, just a few minutes from Sandbaai. The village also marks the start of the popular Hermanus Wine Route, which incorporates 16 different wine farms.”
“Sandbaai’s beach is a delight for children,” she continues “with numerous rock pools, safe swimming at low tide, and popular snorkelling spots. The Onrus beach is also just a short walk away from Sandbaai, while the world-famous cliff path is accessible in Hermanus for walks and whale-watching.”