Just a short drive east of Cape Town, nestled between the Hottentots-Holland Mountains and the coastline of False Bay, lie two neighboring towns: Strand and Gordon’s Bay. Arguably quite different in style and atmosphere, these two beach side communities are nonetheless experiencing very similar property market trends at present. Wouter Joubert, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for both areas, shares his insights into the local market changes.
“The most notable trend that we’re seeing at the moment, across both Strand and Gordon’s Bay, is the increasing number of young buyers,” he reveals. “Ten years back, Gordon’s Bay was seen to be a retirement village, but these days it’s full of young professionals and families. Similarly, the average age of buyers in Strand is also on the decline.”
When asked about the driving forces behind the increasing number of young buyers in the area, Joubert suggests the combination of an attractive, easy-going, coastal lifestyle; relatively affordable property; and the growing number of flexitime and telecommute-friendly careers.
“There are plenty of people who commute from Gordon’s Bay and Strand into the city, or into the Helderberg Basin,” he says. “Rush hour traffic isn’t ideal, but the same can be said for almost anywhere in Cape Town, and it definitely doesn’t seem to be putting buyers off property in the area. Plus, with so many people working from home or outside of standard office hours these days, living away from the central city area is not the problem it used to be.”
The distance from the city may, in fact, be adding to the appeal of these beach-side towns. “Lifestyle is a major draw to both Strand and Gordon’s Bay – they have this relaxed, holiday feel, all year round, which is very different to the hustle and bustle of the city.”
Each town does have its own, unique vibe which, according to Joubert, attracts slightly different buyers looking for different things. “Gordon’s Bay has a very down-to-earth, almost old-school feel,” he explains. “You do have your gorgeous, modern lifestyle estates and ocean-front mansions, but the centre of town has a traditional seaside village atmosphere with its little restaurants, coffee shops and bobbing boats in the harbour. There are some lovely shopping centres, a bowling club, and a local primary school, but all things told, Gordon’s Bay is still a small town at heart.”
Strand, on the other hand, has a more modern, cosmopolitan style. “Strand’s beachfront is lined with glittering, high-rise apartments, and the beach is a favourite with runners and surfers – it’s almost never deserted, no matter what time of year it is,” says Joubert. “There are also plenty of larger, family-friendly homes, and a local CBD which hums with activity, as well as some great primary and high schools, several community clubs, a golf course, and other amenities.”
While both towns have comparatively affordable property in relation to most of the Western Cape, Gordon’s Bay tends to be marginally cheaper than Strand. “You can find two bedroomed apartments for as little as R350 000 in Gordon’s Bays,” says Joubert, “and small homes for R650 000 or so. The most popular price range in the area is between R800 000 and R1.6 million, with the average selling price sitting at R1.1 million at the moment.”
Strand, on the other hand, sees the most activity in the R1.2 million to R2.5 million range, with typical buyers looking for more spacious, family-style homes. “The average selling price in Strand is about R1.3 million,” says Joubert.
As for the future of the property market in the area, Joubert predicts continued positive growth thanks to short supply and ongoing demand, as well as the municipal infrastructural upgrades currently in the works.
“We’re expecting more properties to go up for sale towards the end of the year, because of economic pressures, but we’re still far from becoming a buyers’ market,” he says. “We’re confident that we’ll remain an attractive and competitive option for young buyers, however, and our great value and high quality lifestyle will continue to drive sales.”