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Find your dream waterfront property in these idyllic locations

17 Apr 2019

Being limited in supply and therefore generally highly sought after, residential waterfront property enjoys high demand and commands a premium price.

This four bedroom, four bathroom newly-built home in St Francis, Eastern Cape, offers a north-facing patio, pool, braai area and lovely garden. It is selling for R6.5 million - click here to view.

However, not all prime waterfront property is ocean facing - there are equally idyllic locations which abound that arguably offer even more, such as homes situated in diverse destinations as Lake Victoria in Uganda and in South Africa along the canals of St Francis Bay and Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, on Knysna Lagoon on the Garden Route or on the Vaal and Hartbeespoort Dams.

“There is something beguiling and soothing imbued by large, serene bodies of water,” says Ling Dobson, Pam Golding Properties area principal in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

“Gazing out across the water is both compelling and relaxing - particularly for city dwellers escaping the hustle, bustle and noise of urban living - and it seems to soothe the soul. And apart from providing an ideal space to kick back and relax, such locations also afford a broad array of water sport and leisure activities which are hard to beat.”

Dobson discusses idyllic waterfront areas across South Africa:

Thesen Island

“We find that buyers in the Knysna area generally seek properties with water frontage. In high demand is Thesen Island, which has homes situated right on the water canals as well as on what we call the ‘Parklands’, which is in the centre of the residential estate and as termed, is surrounded by parklands and not directly on the water,” says Dobson.

This four bedroom, three bathroom waterfront home in Thesen Island, Knysna, offers an entertainment area with a wooden deck, pool and braai area. It is on the market for R7.2 million - click here to view.

As it’s highly sought after, Thesen Island is an area where homes sell over and over again and where the growth in property values is exponential. Here, there are both freehold and sectional title homes, priced from around R3.5 million to R4 million upwards, she says.

For example a two bedroom sectional title apartment on Thesen Island can be had from approximately R3.5 million, while larger units have fetched up to R7.5 million. An entry-level two or three bedroom freehold home goes for around the R5 million mark, while high-end homes with three, four or more bedrooms and positioned right on the waterways can list for between R10 million and R20 million.

Positioned at the end of the of a cul-de-sac, this four bedroom, three bathroom cottage-style home in St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape, has spacious living areas with double-volume ceilings, a fireplace, courtyard and a private covered patio leading to a garden. It is selling for R9.8 million - click here to view.

“Many of these buyers are from the metropolitan areas of Johannesburg and Cape Town, either relocating permanently or acquiring a holiday home with the benefit of being within a security estate. Living on the canals and edge of the Knysna estuary lends itself to endless water sports such as boating, skiing, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, swimming and snorkelling - all from your own private jetty,” says Dobson.

A 50-minute drive from George, Thesen Island offers numerous facilities, including three beaches, a clubhouse, floodlit tennis courts, squash court, playground for young children, cricket nets, 18-hole putting green, giant chess board, a maze and a bird sanctuary, while Harbour Town is in walking distance with a host of great restaurants and shopping.

St Francis Bay

In St Francis Bay, an upmarket paradise on the coast about 90km from Port Elizabeth, there is a good demand for homes on the canals, especially vacant land, and a large number of local builders are constructing new homes, says Richard Arderne, Pam Golding Properties area principal.

Located within a small gated estate and on the water, this double-storey three bedroom, three bathroom townhouse in St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape, offers open-plan living areas spilling out onto a large undercover patio overlooking a landscaped garden with canal views. It is on the market for R4.5 million - click here to view.

“Most of our buyers are from Gauteng and Port Elizabeth, with some from Cape Town and Durban. Houses with canal frontage achieve much higher prices than those without, being priced from around R5 million to over R20 million compared with between R2 million and R4 million for a three to four bedroom house off the water. Vacant land on the water ranges from R1.5 million to around R5 million for plots averaging at 900sqm,” says Arderne.

This three bedroom en-suite apartment in St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape, offers access to an entertainment area with large pool and is close to amenities. It is selling for R2.825 million - click here to view.

The canal is home to some of the most luxurious designer residences in the Eastern Cape, with private beaches, jetties, outside entertainment areas, large sparkling pools, multiple open-plan living areas and scenic, uninterrupted views. Apart from a host of water sports, a popular restaurant on the canals, ‘Quaysyde’, is the main kick-off for numerous activities including running and cycling events, and quadrathlons. The canals are linked to the Kromme River and river mouth, where there is fishing, boating, kite boarding and wind surfing.

Port Alfred

In Port Alfred, the Royal Alfred Marina offers tranquillity and an easy, secure lifestyle, says area principal Lauren Meyer.

Set within Port Alfred's Royal Alfred Marina, this east-facing double-storey home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a well-sized undercover patio and built-in braai. It is on the market for R5.95 million - click here to view.

Each home has a minimum of 15m of private canal or river frontage plus the option of their own deep water jetty, so this makes it an ideal location for those who enjoy waterfront living and all its inherent recreational activities. The Kowie River is navigable for 27km, with two demarcated ski zones, while there is also golf at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club, says Meyer.

This renovated four bedroom, three bathroom home in Royal Alfred Marina, Port Alfred, offers spacious living areas, a balcony and a wooden deck. It is selling for R4.8 million - click here to view.

Homes range from R2.795 million for a three bedroom, two bathroom home with double garage to R17.5 million for five bedrooms, seven-and-a-half bathrooms and two garages, while the most popular price bracket is between R4 million and R6 million for four bedrooms, four bathrooms, modern finishes, double garage and private deep water jetty.

Vaal Dam

On the Vaal Dam, which attracts home buyers mainly from the greater Gauteng, Pretoria and East Rand areas -  all within 90 minutes’ drive - buyers are drawn by the fact that this is renowned as the inland sailing mecca of South Africa, with eight yacht clubs and marinas around the dam catering for everything from small sailing dinghies to ocean-going yachts.

Perched on a hill with dam views, this double-storey home in Vaal Marina, Gauteng, has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, study and a balcony. It is on the market for R850 000 - click here to view.

This means the inland sailor with a large yacht can enjoy all the benefits of sailing over distance and in all types of conditions without having to go to the coast and keeping a large vessel which may seldom be used. The Vaal Dam also caters for all types of water sports, from power boating and jet skiing to kite surfing and paddling.

Currently, Pam Golding Properties is marketing land in waterfront residential developments Shearwater Estate and Ambermere Estate, with two hectare serviced stands starting from R300 000, says area principal Phil Medlock.

Set on a large stand and offering uninterrupted dam views, this six bedroom, five bathroom home has a large bar room opening to the pool courtyard, stunning garden and water feature. It is selling for R5.995 million - click here to view.

“Ambermere Estate, which has two marinas and is set on over 300ha with free-roaming game, is located on a deep water bay. Phase one comprises 22 stands, with five homes already completed. In Shearwater Estate, which is off the beaten track and offers great fishing and boating on a quiet part of the dam, six stands in phase one have sold. On the Free State side of the Vaal Dam in Deneysville, generally waterfront homes can be had from around R1.4 million, offering sound value for money,” says Medlock.

Hartbeespoort Dam

On Hartbeespoort Dam, which incorporates scenic views of the surrounding Magaliesberg mountain range, the easy 15 minutes’ travel from Lanseria Airport and proximity to Johannesburg, Pretoria and Rustenburg means many permanent residents commute on business on a daily basis while enjoying all the many benefits of living on the waterfront.

This four bedroom, three bathroom state-of-the-art home in Pecanwood Estate, Hartbeespoort, has an entertainment/bar area leading out onto the sun deck and sparkling pool. It is on the market for R8.5 million - click here to view.

According to area principal Erika van der Westhuizen, the average selling price in Pecanwood Estate, which is located on the dam, is R2.85 million, ranging up to R18 million.

This two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in Key West Estate, Hartbeespoort, offers stunning views of Hartbeespoort Dam and Magalies Mountains and access to a clubhouse with a sparkling pool. It is selling for R2.2 million - click here to view.

Lake Victoria

View of Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort in Uganda.

Meanwhile, on the shores of the eternally calm Lake Victoria, which is Africa’s largest lake, located in the southern region of Uganda, the new Pearl Residences at the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort sees 58 luxury villas and 11 apartment blocks taking shape, at prices starting from US $247 500 for apartments, penthouses from US $675 000 and from US $770 000 for villas. The resort is a 30km drive from Entebbe International Airport and half an hour’s drive from downtown Kampala.

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