Leisure buyers spoilt for choice in St Francis Bay - Market News, News
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12 Feb 2016

Leisure Buyers Spoilt for Choice in St Francis Bay

After a busy holiday season with an influx of visitors, the tranquil coastal town of St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape has resumed its sleepy state, but not so the residential property market.

This architecturally-designed three bedroom, three bathroom home for sale in Santareme in St Francis Bay has two gas fireplaces, a wine cellar, enclosed sun porch, patio and swimming pool. It is selling for R6.9 million - click here to view.

This is according to Richard Arderne, Pam Golding Properties area principal, who says this area has become an increasingly desirable destination for home buyers for a variety of reasons, including leisure, permanent residence and retirement.

“During the December-January season we saw a great deal of interest from upcountry buyers from Gauteng and Durban, as well as from Port Elizabeth and Cape Town,” says Arderne.

“This has become an ideal weekend or holiday escape, with boating, golfing and a host of other activities proving a drawcard. Notable is a younger generation of family buyers who have realised they can acquire a permanent residence which has it all: quality of life in a spectacularly scenic and relaxed environment with a host of co-ed schools within easy reach.”

These include St Francis College, a private school up to Grade 7, and the high schools of Nicol Malan in Humansdorp and Victory Christian School in Jeffreys Bay, as well as Woodridge College private school, a boarding school about 45 minutes’ drive from St Francis Bay. In addition, there are a number of pre-schools in St Francis Village.

This five bedroom, four bathroom north-facing home selling in St Francis Bay is right on the beach. The home has an open-plan living area and outside patio, and is on sale for R8.995 million - click here to view

“But perhaps the icing on the cake for any buyer of real estate in St Francis Bay is the choice of prime location, particularly waterfront properties on the canals,” says Arderne.

“We find that most of our buyers prefer a larger frontage that provides more recreational opportunities, ranging from seven up to 50 metres. Close access to a larger water body such as at the canal harbour or the western end of Long Island also allows for activities such as water polo or even windsurfing.”

He says the wider the canal the better, and these spots tend to be closer to the river, which also impacts on water flow.

“So some properties enjoy a stronger tidal flow than others, and as a result are usually more desirable, with vacant plots achieving prices in the region of R3 million if north facing, or R2 million if south facing. Those planning to live here permanently often choose a north-facing position so they can enjoy a sunny home in winter.”

Arderne says sea views are, of course, sought after, but come with more exposure to the east wind.

This three bedroom en suite home for sale in Santareme in St Francis Bay is within walking distance of the shoreline. The main bedroom has a private study and veranda. The home is selling for R1.95 million - click here to view.

While certain locations are much more sheltered than others, home design must also cater for both prevalent wind directions. Corner positions have dual frontages, which are an asset as one side can be more sheltered.

Access to the beach is another key factor, with plots within easy walking distance of the beach desirable, and only a few on the market currently, priced at around R5 million.

“The next best are river views, or views down the canals rather than just at the house directly across the water,” says Arderne.

“Currently, plots with sea views fetch about R4 million, while houses are priced from R10 million to R25 million. Some buyers want privacy and prefer an elevated position with views, but many like the sociability of being closer to passing boats and create privacy through landscaping and using plants for screening.”

Arderne says indigenous trees can also be a great asset to any plot, if well placed where they can be retained. Examples are milkwoods, which are slow growers, or faster growers such as wild plum.

This three bedroom, two bathroom farmhouse-style home selling in St Francis Bay Links in St Francis Bay overlooks the lake. The property includes a one bedroom flatlet, patio and swimming pool. It is on sale for R4.9 million - click here to view.

“Generally, the larger the plot the higher the value, with sizes ranging from about 400sqm to 1 500sqm and more, varying in price from R1.3 million for small, less prime sites to R7 million for a large, prime plot,” he says.

As is the case in most residential areas, Arderne says a quiet cul de sac is preferred to a busy road.

“And while St Francis Bay is fortunate to have a low crime rate, especially on the canals, there are a few gated estates which provide additional security, such as Marina Village, The Island, Marina Island and Admirals Isle,” he says.

“Here plots sell from around R1.3 million up to around R3.5 million, with completed homes priced between R4 million and R16 million.”

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