Areas and Places

Simonstown a top spot now for British 'swallows'

Charming Simonstown has become the home-from-home of choice for many British retirees who spend several months a year in SA during the northern winter.

“The genteel,‘colonial’ lifestyle that the village offers is a strong draw card for these residents,” says Keith Searle of the local RealNet franchise.

“Many are introduced to Simonstown while on a package tour of the Cape and promptly fall in love with the sea views towards False Bay, the waterfront restaurants, the well-preserved historical buildings and the nautical atmosphere thanks to the Naval base here and the local yacht club,” he says.

“Of course the current exchange rate also benefits UK buyers, and their strong currency makes it possible to set up and maintain a second, fully-furnished home in Simonstown. Some even keep a spare vehicle in SA, because it is more affordable and convenient than renting a car while they are here.”

Searle says that because of their extended absences, UK buyers prefer lock-up-and-go units with sea views in secure complexes, and that prices in such developments currently start at around R795 000 for compact 55sqm units with a single bedroom and bathroom.

“Larger, two-bedroom units selling from around R1,1m are also in demand, while penthouses with three bedrooms and two bathrooms are selling readily at prices of around R1,6m when they become available.”

At the same time, upmarket freehold homes on the mountainside above Simonstown are being actively targeted now by well-heeled SA buyers who are either retired or plan to retire shortly, as well as some international buyers from the UK and Germany, he says.

“Prices of these homes, many of them split-level to accommodate the elevation and afford the best possible views over the ocean, start at around R2,8m. Homes in this price range usually offer three bedrooms and two bathrooms with around 150sqm under roof. Top properties sell at prices of up to R15m.