18 Jun 2012
In Knysna itself home prices are anything from 25% to 40% off their previous peak levels according to Peter Southey, Rawson Properties’ franchisee for Knysna and its surrounding areas, and he says right now is a good time to secure a really low price in this town.
He says there is a perception that Knysna is ultra-expensive. "It has to be pointed out that, although on our stock list of 400 odd homes you will find many in the R5 million to R20 million bracket, the big demand and the most activity are currently being experienced in the R1 million to R2.5 million bracket – and there is considerable stock here too, both in town and in certain of the suburbs.”
Nevertheless, he says, sellers here may have had to wait anything up to 18 months to find a buyer and have had to adjust their prices.
Southey says Knynsa remains one of those precincts that in most people’s view has “everything going for it”. This includes a wonderful climate, spectacular scenery, good beaches, a calm and very attractive lagoon, forests, boating, fishing, restaurants, upmarket shopping malls and a flourishing cultural life.
He says on several occasions Knysna has come out top in the Engen poll for the most popular town in South Africa.
“I believe now that it could take anything from three to five years for the South African economy and SA property to boom again."
However, he says if buyers are after an area that has real international appeal and everything that a tourist or retiree is looking for, it has to be Knysna.
"With so much going for it, it is the ideal place to make an attractive, long-term property investment, especially now that supply does exceed demand and prices are temporarily so low.”
However, when a home comes up for sale at Buffalo Bay on the Southern Cape’s Garden Route just 25 minutes’ drive from Knysna, it is, he says something of an event.
He explains there are only 199 erven in Buffalo Bay and the village can never be extended because it is bound on all sides by a forest reserve that gives it a sought-after exclusivity, which makes it unique on the garden route.
“Buffalo Bay is an old, well-established holiday resort, much liked by inland and upcountry people, many of whom have been coming here since they were children.”
Southey says homes in Buffalo Bay have never lost their value – not even in the recent recession – and when they do sell they tend to attract prices of R3 million and upwards.
Recently, he says they have seen buyers pay a high price only to knock down the existing bungalow-type home and replace it with something far grander.
"One truly magnificent, ultra-modern home now on the market (at a price of R9. 995 million), is possibly the finest family home I have yet handled in this area."
Southey says homes of this quality are few and far between.
The triple storey home, which faces South West and therefore looks out to sea, is right on the coastline, known in the area as “The Wild Side”. Just a few metres of rocky beach separate it from the breakers and the bathing beach is a short walk away.
It was built in the late eighties and rebuilt in 2004. Designed by a leading architect, this house is exceptional even for its area which is the best section of Buffalo Bay, says Southey. Its impressive 520m2 of floor area contains five bedrooms (all en suite with marble finishes and all with sea views), two large reception and dining areas, two full gourmet kitchens with modern finishes, built-in marble hot trays and granite tops, a large scullery area, several balconies and patios and two separate braai areas (offering wood or gas cooking facilities).
The extensive finishes and features include Italian tiled floors, air-conditioning, under floor heating and many full length glazed façades, which open out to the panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. From May to November, whales and dolphins are regularly seen from various vantage points of this home. There is also a fully tiled double garage with auto doors and laundry, as well as a water filtration system and the lower level has a fully contained one bedroom flatlet or staff quarters for four people and a spacious storeroom.
Southey says the property is for sale with all the movables including Noritake dinner sets and state of the art designer furniture and curtains.
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