Areas and Places

Resurgence in interest in prime waterfront homes along the Garden Route and Eastern Cape

An aerial view of Witsand.

The demand for homes with water frontage in prime coastal areas on the Western Cape Garden Route and the Eastern Cape has re-emerged, with increasing instances of prices even in excess of R10 million being achieved, reports Pam Golding Properties (PGP).

In Wilderness, Stephen Murray, PGP’s area principal based in George says: “After many years of very few sales on the beachfront, suddenly over the last six months five properties have sold on the beach in Wilderness, ranging from R6.75 million for a very old house to R10.5 million for a 12 year old home of approximately 390sqm set on an erf of 1500sqm.” Four of these transactions, including the latter high end sale, were concluded by PGP.

“Another old house, which has since been demolished to rebuild, situated on grounds of about 2300sqm, fetched R8.5 million. There is definitely an uptick in interest in beachfront property from discerning buyers who want prime properties along with a more secure, quality lifestyle – a trend particularly evident among Gauteng buyers.”

In Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, PGP area principal Ling Dobson reports that waterfront properties in Beachyhead in Plett and in Keurbooms, just 10 minutes away, are seeing the higher end of R15 million to R22 million. “In fact on Beachyhead Road homes right on the beach have been selling for R26 million-R28 million for properties on average erf sizes between 8000 and 1600sqm.”

“In Keurbooms we currently have a few properties being marketed just below R20 million. In Knysna prices recently achieved are mainly between R3.5 million and R10 million and exceeding the Plett transactions in terms of number of units sold. In Knysna’s sought after Thesen Island, recent sales were in the R5.5 million plus price bracket while we have just sold a home situated on Pezula Golf Estate, in prime position on the cliff edge overlooking the ocean, for R11 million”.

“Generally we are seeing a marked increase in buyers looking to relocate, especially from the major cities. Our very good private schools in Knysna and Plett can accommodate families without being placed on long waiting lists, there are good medical facilities, promising small business opportunities and flights in and out of Plett or George are regular and on established airlines.”

Port Alfred PGP area principal Isobel Meyer says the demand for waterfront and beachfront property, which began increasing during the December/January season, with buyers predominantly from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, has continued. “Properties and vacant land within the Royal Alfred Marina in the price range from R1.19 million to R10 million have attracted considerable interest from potential buyers of late, and there has been a notable improvement in the frequency of sales. Our most recent sales within this security estate, which include top prices achieved, were at R8.2 million, R1.6 million and R3.5 million.”

She says most buyers in Port Alfred are looking between R3 million and R5 million, seeking homes for both primary residence and leisure use. Offering very enticing living opportunities within a secure 24 hour manned security estate, the Royal Alfred Marina appeals to a wide range of home buyers.

In surfer’s paradise Jeffreys Bay the price of beachfront property has risen markedly, according to Jaco Bothma, area manager for Pam Golding Properties. “The sudden increase in prices is probably due to a lack of stock, as there are very few beachfront properties on the market. About 10 months ago a beachfront property sold for R10.5 million – the highest price achieved in ‘JBay’ – and it wasn’t even on the market. This is a property which was acquired for R5.2 million in 2006, reflecting sound capital growth of over 100 percent over an eight-year period. Currently we have a handful of beachfront homes priced at R24 million, R18 million, R11.9 million, R7.5 million and R4.9 million.”

On the canals in St Francis Bay, a home recently fetched R12 million, being a newly built house following the fire. Richard Arderne, PGPs area principal, says there have been three sales in excess of R10 million in St Francis – all on the canals, with the highest price to date being a R21 million sale by PGP in 2008.

In Witsand PGP area principal Jennifer Seggie says there is still good value to be had in waterfront homes. “For around R3.5 million you can acquire a spacious four bedroom, three bathroom home with spectacular estuary views. Our buyers are mainly seeking leisure or retirement homes”.

“In nearby Stilbaai, there is a demand for affordable properties on the frontline but the premium price and maintenance costs place these beyond the average buyer’s budget. A frontline home of about 130sqm on an erf of 250-330sqm and no garden sells for R7 million. This is compared with a timber home set on 803sqm, two roads away and with no views but within walking distance of the beach, which is selling for R1.088 million”.

“Often waterfront homes are inherited in a trust and the heirs cannot afford to maintain them. An example is a home that sold in 2006 to be demolished and rebuilt, and then resold in 2014 through our office for R7.3 million. Sometimes these inherited homes stand in limbo due to family members not agreeing on whether to sell or keep the properties,” she says.