The scenic town of Swellendam, situated at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains halfway between Cape Town and George on the Garden Route, is being rediscovered by several different categories of property buyers, and as a result, house prices are on the rise, says Le Roux van der Merwe, Pam Golding Properties area manager.
“Swellendam has much to offer, and notably has been recognised for its well-run municipality, earlier this year (February 2016) receiving a Certificate of Excellence from the Auditor General as well as a Gold Certificate of Excellence from the Western Cape government. The cherry on top was the town also being declared the best municipality in South Africa by Good Governance Africa.” Swellendam is the third oldest magisterial district in South Africa.
The highest house prices in the area are being achieved by Pam Golding Properties, who this year (2016) set a new benchmark with the sale of an exclusive four bedroom, three bathroom double-storey home with double volume entrance hall for a record price of R3.6 million.
This newly built, lavish home has ultra-spacious interleading reception rooms, a chef’s kitchen with state of the art finishes including granite tops, oak bar counter, built-in bar fridge, central gas fireplace, breakfast bar, three Bosch ovens, dining room with built-in server, scullery/laundry, pantry and wooden floors. Set on an erf of 828sqm the home has stack doors leading onto a covered patio and rim pool with spectacular mountain views and a separate spacious area suitable for a guest flatlet.
This sale surpassed the previous highest price of R3.2 million achieved for Swellendam, also by Pam Golding Properties (PGP). This was firstly via a transaction concluded in 2015 for a luxurious three bedroom, two bathroom family home in an elevated, private position with sweeping views of the Langeberg Mountains, with all bedrooms leading onto a covered patio, Jacuzzi and double garage.
Then again this year (2016) PGP equalled this price with the sale of an upmarket four bedroom, four bathroom home in a private setting overlooking a beautiful garden, pool and river for R3.2 million. Situated in a quiet cul-de-sac with open plan entertainment areas, state of the art kitchen, three of the bedrooms are en suite while separate guest en suite accommodation is on the second level.
Further top prices achieved through the agency this year include a magnificent modern Victorian-styled home with access to the walking trails of the Marloth Nature Reserve, which sold for R2.95 million. Located on an erf of 2 141sqm the three bedroom, three bathroom home of approximately 350sqm has a spacious open plan living/dining/kitchen area, tiled floors, patio overlooking the pool and entertainment area, built-in braai and boma, attractive landscaped garden and separate lounge with bay window and fireplace.
“Also in 2016 we sold a lovely four bedroom, two bathroom, 340 sqm home set on 1 477sqm close to the nature reserve on the outskirts of town for R2.65 million,” says van der Merwe.
“Homes across all price bands are in high demand in Swellendam, particularly those with views of the Langeberg Mountains. With its unique and relaxed environment with a low crime rate, Swellendam sees a strong demand from buyers from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal seeking a slower pace of lifestyle in the country”.
“Others are retirement buyers who love the magnificent mountain scenery, lush green surrounds, charming heritage buildings, restaurants and social clubs as well as its proximity to Cape Town, Worcester, George and the coast. Many of these are Capetonians who value our clean air, beautiful scenery and stress-free environment, with numerous outdoor leisure activities such as walking or hiking in the Marloth Nature Reserve, game drives, cycling, bird watching and fishing in the Bontebok National Park, and horse-riding trails. Rich in agriculture and gateway to the Robertson Wine Valley, Swellendam is about two hours from Cape Town International Airport and an hour from the closest beach”.
“These are the same compelling attractions which are drawing increased interest from overseas buyers who after a long period of low activity are now seeking out the quietest parts of town and the best mountain views, and are buying either for investment or retirement purposes.”
The area also has high appeal for entrepreneurs who look to establish themselves in a strategic position where they can capitalise on the successful local tourism industry, while also being within easy reach of large centres for exports or imports.
Adds le Roux: “We are currently experiencing a stock shortage of residential properties not only up to the R1 million mark but also up to R1.8 million”.
“A R1 million property usually consists of two or three bedroom houses, but varies according to location. Homes in the historical parts of town and those which are higher positioned or up a hill with spectacular mountain views are mostly higher priced, depending if it has a larger plot and whether it has a swimming pool and spacious entertaining spaces. At the lower end we have a two bedroom flatlet available priced at R680 000.”
A luxury property presently on the market through Pam Golding Properties is a trendy three bedroom, two bathroom home with mountain views situated in a peaceful cul-de-sac in an upmarket area. Priced at R3.45 million this double-storey home has an open plan lounge and dining area with double-sided fireplace and good flow through to the entertainment room with fitted pub and braai and doors leading onto the patio and pool. It has an ultra modern kitchen, separate scullery and laundry and upper level with master bedroom with full en-suite bathroom, walk-in dressing room and balcony, two spacious guest bedrooms, open plan study, walk-in linen room, established garden and double garage.