31 Jul 2012
It has also, in recent years, become a favourite getaway and retirement spot and those attracted to it are not only Capetonians, says Andre van Niekerk, Rawson Properties Robertson co-franchisee.
Robertson and its surrounding villages are traditional Afrikaner strongholds, says van Niekerk, but today 50 percent of our buyers are English speaking - and they find that they revel in the peace, tranquillity and the outdoor lifestyle that the area has to offer.
One reason why the town continues to increase in popularity, he says, is that it offers "amazing value".
Scanning through his stock list, it becomes clear that although stock in Robertson is always short, at current price levels, it is possible in both this town and Ashton, to buy a well-maintained three bedroom home for R750 000 to R800 000.
If the buyer goes to the peripheral areas of towns mentioned, there are quite substantial homes available for as little as R450 000.
Johanna van Wyk, who focuses on the residential sales for Rawson Properties Robertson, says Ashton should not be judged by its often unattractive and heavily commercialised main streets - two or three streets away you find a very different and appealing world.
In Montagu and McGregor prices are 15 percent higher, as they have now acquired a chic image which is attractive to the upwardly mobile from big cities. Even in Montagu, Rawson currently sold a three bedroom, one bathroom house with a separate flat in a good area for R845 000.
Homes on the river, especially those in Bonnievale, have always been sought-after and more expensive, and prices there can be anything from around R1.5 to R3 million.
There are also more expensive homes in all these towns, for example, a four bedroom mansion in Robertson priced at around R2. 8 million, but even at this level, prices tend to be less than half of what buyers are paying for similar homes in the Cape Peninsula.
This, says van Wyk, means that when a retiree moves to one of these towns he could bank up to R1 million - this being the difference between what he will pay here and what he will get for his home in one of the big city suburbs.
Van Niekerk and his colleague Izaak van Aarde focus less on residential property and more on agricultural properties.
Having been raised on a farm, van Niekerk is equipped to value and assess such operations. An agricultural property on offer can be anything from 6 to 150ha ‘bare veld’ (undeveloped smallholdings without even a home on them) usually priced between R1 million to R1.5 million.
At the other end of the price scale, they can offer buyers fully productive wine and fruit estates from R2.5 million to R15 million.
This year harvests have been good throughout the area with the result that many of the smaller farms are likely to be taken over by the larger ones, says van Niekerk.
On their stock list currently there are over 20 farms of all sizes and these, too, he believes, are good value with prices softened by the remote but not impossible threat of land reform.
For those hoping to ensure that they have active retirements, says van Niekerk, it makes good sense to buy a smallholding as co-op and other agricultural experts are always available to assist the first-time farmer.
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