A beautiful view of the seagulls and fishing boats at Yzerfontein harbor.
Just 90km north of Cape Town lies the small harbour town of Yzerfontein, known for its spectacular wildflower viewing in spring, its bountiful fishing, and its prime position on the longest white sand beach in South Africa.
Primarily a holiday and retirement destination, Yzerfontein has built up a considerable fan base over the years, both from Capetonians looking for a weekend getaway, and up-country families investing in a little piece of this seaside haven. The influx of new residents has seen significant growth in the area over the last few years, not only in terms of property values, but in the properties themselves.
“There’s no denying the fact that Yzerfontein has been growing recently,” says Marijanne van Nieuwenhoven, the Rawson Property Group’s senior sales agent in the area. “Demand has soared, and there hasn’t been enough stock to go round, which has had a great effect on existing property prices and has also increased the demand for vacant land.”
According to van Nieuwenhoven, a lack of stock isn’t the only reason people are buying vacant stands, however. The desire for “that perfect home” is also playing an important role.
“Everyone’s idea of the perfect beach house is different,” she explains, “and when stock is limited, it can be even more difficult to find something that suits your specific tastes. With availability in the middle price ranges particularly limited at present, we’re seeing a lot of those mid-level buyers opting for vacant stands instead of existing homes. This gives them the opportunity to create their dream house at a price point that they are comfortable with, rather than compromising on a home that might not meet their expectations.”
Typically considered a mid to upper-income area, Yzerfontein’s property prices range from R1.3 million to R8 million and more, although vacant stands can be found for as little as R400 000.
“Properties with unimpeded sea views are obviously the most sought after,” van Nieuwenhoven says, “and vacant plots in these prime positions can command prices up to R2.5 million. Stands do tend to be generously sized, though, and there is usually plenty of room between houses. The peace and tranquillity is an important part of the Yzerfontein lifestyle, and the residents are committed to preserving that.”
For sellers of existing properties hoping to compete in the current market, van Nieuwenhoven’s advice is to be very careful about accurately – and fairly – pricing their homes. “When demand is high, we see a lot of sellers being tempted to overprice their properties. This can be detrimental to a sale, especially when there is an increasing trend to build rather than buy,” she says. “Buyers in Yzerfontein tend to be well-educated, and research the market before making purchase decisions. If they don’t see an appropriate level of value, they’ll hold out for something else.”
When it comes to finding that perfect property to buy, van Nieuwenhoven highly recommends getting an agent in the area to keep an eye out for potential listings that meet your specifications.
“We often get prospective buyers asking us to notify them of opportunities as they open up, because prime properties can move quickly, and they don’t want to miss out.”
“On the other hand,” she continues, “there’s still a wide variety of vacant land on offer. It could be well worth your while to join the trend and build your own Yzerfontein dream house.”