Areas and Places

Fernkloof now the ‘Bishopscourt’ of Hermanus

The suburb of Fernkloof now ranks as the most exclusive address in Hermanus. With an average property valuation of R4.55m, it outranks other suburbs by about 2:1 for its average property values. The only residential area to come close in terms of property values, is the neighbouring Fernkloof Golf Estate.

“The suburb achieves some of the highest prices in the town, only beach houses have sold for higher prices in recent years”, says Jaco van der Merwe, one of the principals of Seeff Hermanus.

The suburb has grown in stature over the last few years and is now regarded as the ‘Bishopscourt’ of Hermanus for its large plots that can range from 2000sqm to over 9000sqm and its mansions.

The houses are often multi-storey and sized to around 600sqm-2000sqm with at least four bedrooms, multiple living rooms and top class finishes. The gardens are generally lush and treed and often come with a swimming pool and a borehole. Most of the homes enjoy lovely mountain and sea views across Walker Bay.

The suburb is flanked by the Fernkloof Nature Reserve and the exclusive Fernkloof Golf Estate.

“Fernkloof is an upper income area and property owners tend to hold on to their homes”, says van der Merwe.“More than half of the properties have for example been in the same hands for well over ten years. It follows that although very sought-after, very few sales take place annually as there is always a shortage of stock”.

There are only 162 properties in all the suburb. Over the last five years, only about 6-7 properties changed hands annually. Activity peaked last year with 11 transactions worth just under R50m. Most sales have been in the R4.5m to just over R10m price range. This year, there has already been 5 sales ranging from R5.5m to R15m.

“That the suburb is a top class investment is certainly borne out by the activity”, says van der Merwe.

Homes for sale are so scarce that there are currently only four homes on the market in the R8.9m to R25m range, adds Annali Durr, Seeff agent. The R8.9m home offers excellent value and should certainly catch the eye of astute buyers looking for a luxury home in a solid investor suburb, says the agent.

It enjoys fabulous views and offers 600sqm of living space, set over two floors with balconies, multiple living rooms with cosy fireplaces, garaging, staff accommodation and excellent security. The plot size is 2624sqm.

“This house illustrates the superb quality of property in the suburb that certainly matches up with the best on offer in the country, including those in the suburbs of Sandton in Johannesburg and in Bishopscourt and Constantia in Cape Town”, says the agent.

Seeff licensee, Reon van Merwe says that the wealthy are increasingly heading to Hermanus. According to recent reports from New World Wealth (a Sandton-based wealth research consultancy), the town ranks amongst the most exclusive in the country with about 40 multi-millionaire residents and at least 20 trophy homes in the R20m-plus price category.

“With annual sales that topped the R1.2bn mark last year, Hermanus is no longer a sleepy little holiday town. Our market here has certainly benefited from the great migration of buyers from other provinces to the Western Cape. Those who are not already moving here, are buying with their eye on moving in the near future”.

“Hermanus also remains a very popular retirement destination and there are plenty of options for older buyers here”, says van der Merwe. “Many older buyers, especially wealthy entrepreneurs often retire in their fifties and then move down to the coast to a nice estate house such as those in Fernkloof”.

“The appeal is obvious. There is the beautiful coastline and beaches, healthy and relaxed lifestyle, almost no traffic, yet, you now have top class facilities including a private school and hospital on hand. You can walk in town, it is clean and safe. It is the home of whale spotting, shark cage diving, dolphin spotting and just about every outdoor leisure pursuit that you could want for”.

It is no surprise then that Hermanus was a finalist in this year’s sought-after Town of the Year contest, hosted by the Kyknet television programme, Kwêla.