Areas and Places

Cape Town's thriving Southern Peninsula offers waterside property at competitive prices

View of Muizenberg Main Road from the beach.

A hundred years ago, the South Peninsula was the jewel of the Cape – a thriving holiday resort area attracting affluent travellers from around the world. Having since weathered decades of neglect, the South Peninsula is once again rising in popularity. This time, however, it’s not just a playground for the rich.

“The South Peninsula is one of the best value-for-money areas to buy property in Cape Town these days,” says Errol King, the Rawson Property Group’s Muizenberg franchisee. “It has all the amenities you could want – great shops, fantastic beaches with year-round surfing, world-class restaurants and cafés, hiking trails, a vlei where you can canoe, kitesurf and paddle – and yet the property prices are generally well below those in comparable suburbs.”

While this phenomenon is likely due – at least in part – to many Capetonians’ famous reluctance to commit to any commute over 30 minutes, the South Peninsula’s distance from the CBD is now increasingly seen as a selling point, rather than a flaw.

“Lifestyle is a major driving force for people looking to purchase property here,” says King. “It’s a very nature-oriented, family-friendly area. All the neighbourhoods have their own particular charms, but some characteristics follow through in them all, namely: a great outdoor lifestyle, a sense of community, and a down-to-earth, unpretentious atmosphere. These are things that can be very hard to find in suburbs closer to the city, but are becoming increasing sought-after in this day and age.”

According to King, Muizenberg in particular feels like a laid-back village, with its quaint 1920s cottages and old stone facades sharing the neighbourhood with a variety of newer beachfront developments.

“Muizenberg is probably the most affordable place in Cape Town to buy a home just a few blocks from the beach,” he says. “You can get a freestanding starter home in the eastern areas for as little as R550 000, or a mansion on the mountainside for R6 million or so. One bedroomed apartments vary from R490 000 for a modest 34m² to R1 million for a more luxurious space. Duplexes, townhouses and cottages range from R700 000 to about R2 million.”

While Muizenberg’s value for money is becoming fairly well-known, Marina Da Gama, built along the edges of the Zandvlei Estuary just behind Muizenberg, remains a relatively well-kept secret.

“Marina Da Gama is a little more expensive than Muizenberg,” King admits, “but it has homes on the water where you can literally paddle out to the ocean or sail your boat from the bottom of your garden – it’s idyllic. The properties are mostly family homes,” he continues, “with very few sectional title complexes – although the ones that do exist, like Park Island Quay, are very sought-after.”

Marina Da Gama is particularly popular for the upwardly mobile in Muizenberg, as well as established families moving from the leafy Southern Suburbs after their children have left home. “We see quite a few mature couples buying a house on the water for half what they sold for in Tokai or Constantia, and investing the rest for their retirement,” says King. “It helps that the area has great security, with some sections having only one access road, almost like a gated community.”

Price-wise, a two bedroomed starter home will cost you around R800 000 in Marina Da Gama, with large family homes – on the water, in prime north positions – ranging from R3.5 to R4.5 million. One-bedroomed flats start at R600 000 and three bedroomed townhouses at R2 million and up.

For those looking for something ever so slightly closer to Cape Town, Lakeside is another South Peninsula neighbourhood making waves on the property scene.

“Lakeside is great for families with kids,” says King, “because it’s close to schools and public transport, extremely convenient for Westlake Business Park, and is just that little bit quicker by car into Cape Town. It also has lots of hiking trails, nearby golf clubs and the Zandvlei Yacht Club, so you still have access to a great outdoorsy lifestyle.”

King describes Lakeside houses as more modern than those in Muizenberg, and subsequently a bit more expensive. “You won’t find a typical, starter-type, family home for under R1 million,” he reveals, “and houses on the mountain have changed hands for R6 million to R7 million – more expensive than Kirstenhof or Bergvliet. There are a lot of older, well-constructed and spacious blocks of flats, however,” he adds, “with apartments selling at R500 000 to R650 000 for one and two bedrooms.”

With so many remarkably affordable options, demand for property throughout the South Peninsula is soaring, and shortages in entry-level and scaling-down type homes are becoming more and more common. “We’re seeing huge demand, particularly for properties up to R1.5 million,” says King, “and there’s a lot of interest in investment properties in central Muizenberg and Lakeside as well.”

It seems that the elite playground that was the South Peninsula in years gone by has transformed into an affordable and attractive area for people of all lifestyles and income-levels. Let’s hope this inclusive trend remains as the market continues to thrive.