A view of West Beach, Blouberg.
West Beach, one of the premier suburbs on the Blouberg coast is one of the best performing property markets in the area. And, it is not just locals, but mostly newcomers to the area – young professionals, surfers and upcountry buyers – that is driving the buoyant demand according to Clinton Martle, managing executive for Seeff Blouberg.
Blouberg has attracted a lot of attention over the last five years with not just locals clamouring for a home in the area that stretches on both sides of the R27, but especially upcountry buyers migrating to the city. Added demand is also now coming from foreign buyers, especially those attracted to the wind and waves, surfers and kite surfers alike.
“Where freehold houses in the area were for example selling for around the R1.35M mark five years ago, the average according to the latest Lightstone data is now around R1.85M. Propstats though puts the average freehold price in the region of R2.4M which more accurately reflects the fact that homes are now easily selling for well above the R2M to R6M range”, says Martle.
West Beach is also one of the few neighbourhoods that seems to be holding firm against a declining economy. Sales volumes have remained fairly even for the 2014 and 2015 years and this should be of particular interest to sellers.
The around 100 units sold annually in the area is also very similar to the pre-2007/8 levels, one of the few areas that has not only seen a full recovery in sales volumes, but notable value growth, according to Martle.
“We are still seeing a notable shortage of stock, especially in the sub-R1.8M price band for apartments and below the R3M to R6M range for houses”.
“The beach front location of the suburb is absolutely prime”, says Martle. “From here, you have the very best sea views as far as the eye can see across Table Bay to Table Mountain. There is limited land space as the suburb is wedged between Big Bay and Blouberg Rise on either side and Blouberg Sands to the rear R27-end”.
West Beach, together with the Bloubergstrand and Big Bay suburbs are already regarded as the upper end of the Blouberg property market and, given the limited space and upgrading of the area, property values can only grow exponentially in the coming years according to Martle.
The suburb has been getting a facelift in recent years with smart buyers snapping up older homes and rebuilding and remodelling these into trendy seaside villas that compare well with those in areas such as Camps Bay.
Even the ever-popular Doodles now sports a trendy, upgraded look and the stunning new beach front hotel seems to be progressing well.
“New builds in the area also feature an excellent selection of luxury architectural villas that can easily sell in the R4M to R6M-plus price range”, says Martle.
West Beach is a fairly small neighbourhood, home to just 2110 properties split about 50/50 between freehold property and security complexes that include lovely townhouse complexes and apartment complexes, both property types that are extremely popular.
“Propstats data for example shows that recent apartments sales are still concluded within a day to a month of listing and, save for overpriced units, are selling for just about or full asking price, such is the demand.
Anything that is well priced is still attracting multiple buyers, not just residential, but these units are extremely popular with investment buyers given the high demand for residential and holiday accommodation in the area”, says Martle.
Seeff’s area specialist, Di Boiskin says that houses are seeing strong demand as well. Almost half of all recent sales were concluded within one to ten days of listing and at prices ranging to just over R5.4M. Stock levels are now so tight that we have almost nothing to show buyers and it is definitely still a very positive phase for sellers.
About 30% of all sales since the start of last year fall above the R2 million price band as property values edge ever higher and buyers are prepared to pay more for a seaside home here, adds Martle. The highest prices achieved were in Arundel Road where homes sold for R4 million and R5.409 million respectively, both concluded within the last six months.
Boiskin says the location and laid-back seaside lifestyle are the key draw cards for buyers.
The Blouberg area is a surfer, kite surfer and water sport paradise. To the front, you have the Blouberg promenade where you can indulge in beach walks and cycling as well as access to seaside dining, ranging from the popular Doodles to News Café and Primi closer to the Marine Circle side.
“While property values are growing exponentially, West Beach is still quite affordable for such as prime beach front location”, she adds. “You can for example still buy apartments and townhouses (often nice sized units with three bedrooms, gardens and garages) in the R1.5-R2 million price range, although these will be set back a bit further away, but still within walking distance of the beach front”.
Closer to the beach, houses tend to range upwards of R2-R4 million to as much as R20 million.
“These days, scores of younger people are moving into the West Beach and Blouberg area. In West Beach alone for example, about half of all recent buyers were below the 40-year age group”, says the agent.
Young families especially find the area very attractive given that there are about twenty top schools in the Blouberg area including a number of highly reputed private schools.
“The suburb is very popular for rental accommodation according to Martle who says that long-term rental rates now range to about R12,000 per month for an apartment and about R17,000-R20,000 per month for a house. Homes in the beach front security estates though can go for upwards of this to as much as R30,000 per month now”, he says.