If given the opportunity many South Africans would exchange the hustle and bustle of stressful city living for a peaceful lifestyle in the countryside in a heartbeat – and lately there has been a national trend of people doing just this!
This trend, also known as semigration, is due to a number of factors that do not only include getting much more bang for your buck, but also because small towns generally boast lower crime rates, larger homes, less traffic, fresher air and a more family friendly environment.
Towns like Philadelphia, Malmesbury, Porterville, Riebeek Kasteel, De Rust, Calitzdorp and Schoemanshoek are very popular, but another hot destination that is becoming increasingly favoured is Tulbagh, about 120 km from Cape Town.
Nelia Retief who is an estate agent with Seeff in Tulbagh says that last year alone 43 vacant plots, farms and homes were sold in this town and most of these sales were made to people from elsewhere in the country seeking a better quality of life.
“Many of our buyers are people who are buying second homes for weekend breakaways or those who are not office bound and only need to travel to Cape Town once or twice a week. People who need to travel to town can do this easily by train, where a return trip is priced at R40″.
There is a great demand for property in Tulbagh, especially for homes priced below R1,5 million that include three bedrooms, two bathrooms and is on a stand of around 800sqm.
Vacant plots are also gaining popularity, but because banks only grant 60% home loans for this type of property most transactions are cash. Building costs in Tulbagh is becoming expensive at around R7000 per square metre so it remains more affordable to buy an existing home than to build a new one.”
Retief continues that there is also a big demand for lifestyle farms priced at below R5 million.
“Buyers are mostly interested in smaller portions of agricultural land of around 15 hectares that they can utilise for tourism purposes. Tulbagh is extremely popular for weekend breakaways and as a destination wedding venue and the guest houses here are performing extremely well”.
“We also have several annual festivals including ‘Christmas in winter’, ‘Vintage and Vine’ and the Arts Festival that attract many people to our town.”