The West Coast’s residential property market, stretching from Yzerfontein in the south to Velddrif in the north and inland to as far as Darlington and Hopefield, recorded its best year in 2021 since 2015 with property transactions having jumped more than 30% in 12 months, from 1 982 in 2020 to 3 355 in 2021.
According to Hayley Ivins-Downes, Head of Digital at Lightstone, smaller coastal towns have benefitted from the pandemic as homeowners leave cities and towns to seek a quieter lifestyle.
Unlike in many towns, freehold transfers still dominate although estate living is on the rise with towns on the West Coast predominantly attracting buyers in the R250 000 to R1 million and R1 million to R3 million value bands.
Buyers in the R250 000 to R1 million band nearly doubled in numbers from 736 in 2020 to 1 380 in 2021, while the R1 million to R3 million band jumped from 587 to 1 055.
The R250 000 to R1 million and R1 million to R3 million bands accounted for 73% of all transfers in 2021. St Helena Bay and Langebaan together accounted for 56% of all the transfers in these bands last year.
In St Helena Bay, transfers were predominantly in the R250 000 to R1 million band while Langebaan’s transfers were evenly split.
Velddrif was the ‘best of the rest’ at 13%, followed by Yzerfontein and Vredenburg. The more iconic town brands of Darling and Paternoster accounted for just 5.5% of transfers between them.
There were 42 012 properties registered in the towns reviewed i.e., Saldanha, Paternoster, Vredenburg, Velddrif, St. Helena Bay, Langebaan, Hopefield, Darling and Yzerfontein, as at February 2022, of which 24% were valued at between R0 to R250 000, R250 000 to R1 million accounted for 24.5%, R1 million to R3 million for 46.5% with properties over R3 million accounting for 5%.
The number of first-time buyers and repeat buyers have remained consistent from 2015 to 2021, but in 2022 first-time buyers accounted for 32% as opposed to the previous norm of around 20%. Ivins-Downes said it will be interesting to see if the early activity in 2022 holds true for the balance of the year.
The age of buyers across the 3 property types reveals the 50-64 and 65+ categories prefer freehold, with estate buyers being more evenly split to include all categories although dominated by 36-49 and 50-64, while the <35 age group has been buying less sectional properties over the years.