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A home for every budget on the popular Garden Route

15 Jul 2018


The Garden Route property market still largely favours sellers, with a shortage of stock evident in some areas and Seeff branches still reporting record sales months. At the same time, it remains characterised by outstanding value, offering apartments below R500 000 and houses below R1.5 million.

This three bedroom en-suite home in Pezula Golf Estate in Knysna has a large entertainment patio with braai and infinity pool, and offers mountain and lagoon views. It is on the market for R3.8 million - click here to view.

Overall, the market has improved by almost 60% since the 2007/8 decline, and for the last year topped R6 billion, with over 4400 transactions at an average transaction price of R1.3 million for the main towns of George, Mossel Bay, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

FNB recently reported in its Southern Cape House Price Index that the market remained near its decade high growth rates by end 2017, and it expects more of the same this year, boosted by semigration as an alternative to the Cape.

This 372sqm penthouse in Sanctuary, Plettenberg Bay, offers five en-suite bedrooms, an entertainment patio, garage, covered parking bay and ocean views. It is selling for R6 million

Seeff’s principals confirm that while second-home buying has slowed, the residential market remains active and there is a steady stream of buyers moving here from upcountry provinces. A better lifestyle with less traffic, security for families to raise children, excellent schools and healthcare and more affordable property make the Garden Route a preferred alternative to the Cape, says Pieter Jordaan of Seeff George.

“The abundance sunshine and healthy climate is attractive for retirees, while first-time buyers can find real value here. Access to the area is easy via road or to the George Airport, and Plettenberg Bay (Plett) also has its own airport.”

This two bedroom, two bathroom townhouse in Blue Mountain Village in George has open-plan living spaces, a covered patio with braai and easy-to-maintain garden. It is on the market for R1.63 million - click here to view.

Jordaan says George, the main commercial centre, is still booming. Sellers are often getting their full asking price and property values have appreciated by 15% to 30% below R1 million and by 5 -10% above R3 million over the last three years.

“Affordability is a big driver and you can still find a two bedroom apartment for R640 000 and a full title property for R900 000 on average in areas such as George Central and South. Townhouses range from R1.25 million and luxury lifestyle and golf estate homes from R2 million to R6 million, up to R8 million close to the sea in the Oubaai Golf Estate,” says Jordaan.

“Areas such as George East, Groenkloof and Welgelegen also offer properties in the R1.45 million to R2 million range, focused on the needs of older persons. Swallows and holiday buyers tend to focus on Kingswood, Oubaai Golf Estate, The Brink & Breakwater Bay and Glenwood, generally in the R2 million to R6 million price range.”

This spacious four bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom home in Lower Robberg, Plettenberg Bay, is ideal for entertainers with a sheltered pool area, bar with built-in braai and pool shed. It has a double garage, and is selling for R3.95 million - click here to view.

Jordaan says rental property is still in short supply, and prices have doubled over the last three years. In estates, tenants are now willing to pay as much as R20 000 to R30 000 a month for a rental house. This means there are good prospects for investors in the buy-to-let and sectional title market. Older homes ready for upgrading also offer good prospects for investment buyers.

Kaaiman Schutte, principal for Seeff’s Mossel Bay area, says his market has also not deteriorated, and his office has enjoyed record months since December with overall sales growth of 600% over the last four years. Buyers are often surprised to find that sellers won’t accept low cash offers.

“A well-managed local government, great infrastructure, quality education, Blue-Flag beaches, growing eco awareness, a flourishing tourism industry, low crime figures and a balanced mix of locals and residents from the rest of SA are all reasons for the positivity,” he says.

“The town offers some of the most affordable coastal property, starting at around R850 000 for a two bedroom apartment, R1.2 million for a townhouse and R1.5 million for a three bedroom house. Luxury houses range from R2.5 million to R5.5 million.”

Overlooking the Indian Ocean, this cliff-top home in Pezula Golf Estate boasts panoramic views, and offers six bedroom suites, a home cinema, wine tasting room, gym, a study, and more. It is on the market for R25 million - click here to view.

Schutte sats fairly flat 5% to 6% year-on-year price growth means there is still good value, especially in areas such as the Brak Meander, Hartenbos and Dana Bay.

“Overall, Mossel Bay caters to all needs, from holiday lock-up and go to buy-to-let, vacant stands, gated communities and freehold residential properties. The rental market is also healthy with excellent demand, driven by an affordable average rental rate that stands at around R7 000 a month,” he states.

“There is some pick up in investment buying, with developers beginning to show interest again. Stock shortages are generally evident below R2 million, with a serious stock issue around R1.1 million.”

Surrounded by trees, this unique double-storey home in Brenton on Lake, Knysna, is built in the Canadian log style, and has four bedrooms with balconies, three bathrooms and various entertainment areas. It is selling for R2.4 million - click here to view.

While Knysna and Plettenberg Bay are feeling the effect of the economic downturn with a dip in the second-home market, it continues to be business as usual for their residential markets, according to Seeff’s principals.

Gail Giannonne from Knysna says there is something to suit every budget and buyer in the area. The highest prices tend to be paid in the waterfront developments with Leisure Isle, for example, recording a sale of R24.325 million over the last year and in Pezula and two top-end sales at R22 million and R23 million each.

Plettenberg’s Kevin Engelsman says that price increases have been moderate at 37% from five years ago, which is a good incentive for buyers. High-value property above R20 million remains in demand, especially in areas such as Beachy Head Drive.



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