The economic downturn, slump in demand and resultant 20 to 30 percent downward price adjustment in the Cape’s coastal villages, has created a unique opportunity for buyers to pick up holiday homes and vacant land at exceptional value.
This is according to Seeff Hermanus licensee, Marius Pieters, who says buyers looking for good value have not been short of options as evidenced by the fact that almost all of the 46 properties sold in the village over the past year have been in the sub-R3 million price band.
He says the close proximity of Hermanus and its satellite villages (Vermont, Onrus, Sandbaai and Fisherhaven) to Cape Town and the airport, which is an estimated forty five minute drive, makes it an ideal destination for Capetonians, but they have also seen some Johannesburg and other out-of-town buyers coming back into the market this year.
While retirement buying remains an important driver of sales, he says the area is getting younger. Festivals such as the annual Hermanus Whale Festival have brought younger crowds and families to the town and the area has become a trendy weekend and holiday hangout.
The scenic location, unpolluted air and laid-back coastal lifestyle along with the best whale watching in the world are big draw cards, but there is no shortage of leisure activities. The village has excellent infrastructure, beautiful wine farms, trendy eateries, white sandy beaches and just about every water sport activity.
Pieters says they have seen a 44 percent growth in sales for the first eight months of this year and have sold 47 properties compared to 37 during the same period last year.
Sales range from a four bedroom home in Eastcliff that sold for R1.65 million to a home with stunning views in Hemel en Aarde that sold for R2.795 million. A four bedroom home in Fernkloof also sold for R2.995 million while a large double storey home in Prestwick Village sold for R3.35 million.
There has also been good demand for vacant plots, something that they have not seen for a while, he says. Three plots recently sold in Fernkloof Golf Estate, priced from R695 000 for 649 square metres to R900 000 for 844 square metres.
A 1 088 square metre corner plot in Hermanus Heights also sold for R860 000 and a 1 800 square metre plot in Fernkloof sold for R3.5 million.
The villages of Vermont and Onrus have also seen renewed interest with sales ranging from a modern, three bedroom cottage with mountain views that sold for R895 000 to a four bedroom, wooden house that sold for R2.2 million.
Onrus in particular has been popular with 12 recent sales including a sea view plot that sold for R1.395 million. Holiday home sales range from a small, two bedroom cottage that sold for R990 000 to a number of three and four bedroom homes that sold for between R1.595 million and R1.85 million. A modern, double storey home with sea and mountain views sold for R2.1 million while a home overlooking Onrus Manor sold for R2.2 million.
Sales in the more affordable Sandbaai area range from a small, two bedroom cottage that sold for R655 000 to a three bedroom cottage that sold for R850 000 while a four bedroom beachfront home sold for R3.75 million.
The best value on offer right now is in the largely unspoilt village of Fisherhaven, says agent, Linda Woolnough. It is located just fifteen minutes from Hermanus on the Botriver Lagoon next to a Marine Nature Reserve, within walking distance of pristine beaches.
The area is a nature lover’s paradise with bird species including Flamingos and Pelicans and frequent visits from a small herd of wild horses. Coastal and country hiking and biking, fishing and water sports are some of the main attractions and the village has its own yacht club.
The Arabella 5-star Golf Course Estate and the new Benguela Wine Estate are also located on this lagoon.
The village is relatively undeveloped and is becoming more popular with young families, says Woolnough. It is also the last remaining coastal area where buyers can still find waterfront properties at reasonable prices, she says.
Vacant plots of between 900 square metres and 1 500 square metres with mountain views, located close to the lagoon are selling for between R270 000 and R500 000.
Waterfront plots start from around R900 000 and holiday cottages sell from R500 000 for a two bedroom and R650 000 for a three bedroom home.
There is a good selection of homes priced below R1.5 million and waterfront properties below R2 million on offer.
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