26 Aug 2013
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that property in the central town consists of 43.8 percent sectional title units, 34.61 percent freestanding homes and 21.58 percent estates. He notes that the highest percentage of recent buyers are those aged between 50 and 64 years old, who account for around 49.37 percent of all buyers in the area. This age group also represents the largest group of existing homeowners, making up nearly half of the current property owners in the area.
Goslett says that property prices have reacted interestingly over the past 10 years. He notes that between 2004 and 2007 the property prices saw a gradual but steady increase. However in 2008 the price of a freestanding home skyrocketed to a record high of R1.837 million. In contrast the average price of a sectional title unit dropped from R866 000 to R735 000. In 2009, the average price of a freestanding property dropped, reaching R1.085 million, while the average price of a sectional title unit recovered to around R822 000. Goslett says that while freestanding property prices have seen an increase since 2009 with the current price around R1.264 million, sectional title unit prices have seen a decrease, with their average price down to approximately R454 000.
According to Lightstone data, from 2004 to 2007 freestanding homes consistently outsold sectional title units, however, in 2008 that changed with sectional title units outselling freestanding homes for the first time. Since 2008 sectional title units have continued to be the popular choice, often outselling freestanding homes by two to one.
Goslett says that around 46.2 percent of all homes between August 2012 and July 2013 were priced between R400 000 and R800 000. Properties that fell within the R800 000 to R1.5 million category represented 24.6 percent of sales, while properties below R400 000 represented 20 percent. He notes that properties sold during this period for between R1.5 million and R3 million represented 9.2 percent of the market.
Although the word Knysna is derived from the Khoi language, the exact meaning remains unknown, however, it is said to symbolise water - an apt description considering water and wood played a part in the town's development.
George Rex, who is largely considered as the town’s founder, was involved in the Royal Navy and believed to be of Royal descent. It was through his encouragement that the Vice Admiral of the Royal Navy, Sir J. Benton, saw fit to ship wood from Knysna using its lagoon as a Port. Knysna’s port could hold up to 50 ships. This resulted in the first attempt to ship timber through the Knysna Heads to the Atlantic Ocean in 1817. However, due to the fact the passage was hard to navigate and often treacherous, it was only years later that the first ship was able to make the voyage successfully, carrying a cargo of 140 tons of Stinkwood. The port was officially closed in 1954.
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