02 Jan 2013
Many villages on the Cape South Coast have seen renewed interest from holiday home buyers this past year.
According to Seeff's agents, Witsand, Arniston, Stilbaai, Struisbaai, L’Agulhas and Gansbaai have something to offer buyers, although sales are somewhat short of the volumes of recent years, the agents say 2012 was the best year in recent times.
On the whole, property prices are down by between 20 percent and 30 percent from the pre-2007 highs and smart buyers are taking advantage of the favourable conditions to invest in holiday homes.
The villages are largely unspoilt with sandy beaches, rocky coastlines and fynbos surroundings with stone cottages, Fisherman-style cottages and contemporary Cape Dutch and Cape Country style homes on offer. They are within a few hours’ drive from Cape Town and thus easily accessible for holiday homeowners.
Although sales volumes have slowed down since 2010, Seeff’s agents say buyers are looking for good value and overpriced properties don't attract any interest. Seeff has sold close to 40 properties in the villages this year to the value of R30 million.
The majority of sales are below R3 million and aside from holiday homes, vacant plots have started selling again, something they haven’t seen for some time, says Witsand agent, Jo Attenborough.
The village of Witsand is a two and a half hour drive from Cape Town and is situated on St Sebastian Bay at the mouth of the Breede River. It seems buyers still see value in investing in holiday homes, says Attenborough, who sold 8 out of the 13 properties sold in the village in 2012. Most were holiday homes bought predominantly by Johannesburg and Western Cape buyers.
In the last two months, there have been three sales of vacant land, including two beach front plots that sold for R1.5 million and R1.6 million and a plot in a gated complex that sold for R400 000. All three buyers plan to build homes within the next 12 months, she says.
Attenborough says another thing worth noting is the interest that has come from high-profile South African cash buyers, a buyer demographic that had been holding out for the past two years.
It seems there is still confidence in the smaller coastal markets and they remain soughtafter for holiday homes, she says and they anticipate the trend will continue in 2013 with buyers taking advantage of the favourable buying conditions.
Further along the coast towards Mossel Bay, the coastal resort town of Stilbaai has seen renewed interest in holiday homes according to agent, Elsabé Franken-Jordaan.
Buyers have been a mix of Joburgers and Capetonians who have invested in holiday and retirement properties. She says well-priced properties are selling, but sellers who are holding out for high prices will have to wait a long time as buyers are very particular about how much they are prepared to pay.
In the Struisbaai and L’Agulhas areas, there have even been two foreign sales, says agent Sonja Kleinhans. "We have concluded 15 sales already for the year, with between two and four properties selling every month; much better volumes than what we have seen for some time." Most have been holiday homes sold to Johannesburg and Capetown buyers.
The quaint fisherman village of Arniston has seen steady demand, with 10 properties sold including Fisherman-style cottages and homes that have sold for up to R2.45 million by mostly Joburg and Cape buyers says agent Elaine Beyers.
Sellers have become more accustomed to prevailing market conditions and are often willing to negotiate, something that no doubt will continue to see the demand turn into sales into the new year.
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