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South Africa’s coastal hotspots for property investors

19 Dec 2016

Semigration and the cost of overseas travel have boosted sales in SA’s coastal towns and cities in recent times.

This nine bedroom, four bedroom home in St Francis Bay has two fireplaces, courtyard with built-in braai and games room. It is on the market for R8.658 million - click here  to view.

“And the Chas Everitt International offices in these areas are expecting the pace of this activity to increase even more over the forthcoming holiday season as upcountry visitors take the opportunity to view what is available and do some ‘comparative shopping’,” says Charlene Barnard, franchise manager in Knysna.

“We are expecting this summer season to be even better than the last one, when we signed up a record number of deals. In our area, apartments and townhouses currently dominate sales, but at least half are now being bought for own use rather than as buy-to-let investments, and many buyers are seeking to relocate on a permanent basis.”.

This is similar in the upmarket destination of St Francis Bay, says franchise owner Brendon Lahana.

“We have had a very good year to date, with several high-end properties selling. The Waterclub, a 17-unit townhouse development, has also sold out during the course of 2016, with several units having been bought by non-South Africans,” says Lahana.

This three bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home in Zinkwazi, KwaZulu-Natal, has a wraparound patio, jacuzzi and braai area. It is on the market for R2 449 500 - click here  to view.

“Short-term rentals for the holidays are also at a premium, so there will be a lot of potential buyers here this season. Most sales here at the moment are houses and, an increasing number are for the buyers’ own use, as either holiday or permanent homes. We have definitely seen a shift towards less rental properties on our database.”

He says the low rand exchange rate and high cost of overseas travel is certainly contributing to this trend, with many regular visitors now deciding to acquire a holiday home here instead of going abroad.

Steve Tredoux, co-franchisee in Kenton-on-Sea, says actual sales during the summer season are expected to be slow because every home in the village is set to be crammed with holidaymakers, making it difficult to arrange viewings.

“However, we find that people who have had a great holiday here tend to return and look at properties to buy in the ‘second season’ between February and May, so we have some busy times ahead,” says Tredoux.

This four bedroom, four bathroom home in Knysna has a pool and outdoor entertainment space. It is on the market for R5.9 million - click here  to view.

“Most buyers here are looking for investment properties, and because there is a shortage of such units, prices have risen and prompted a mini-boom in the local building industry.”.

In Port Elizabeth, Chas Everitt International principal, Charlotte Vermaak says even though the local market is not driven by second-home buying, the holiday season is nevertheless a great time to buy because sellers are generally very serious about concluding a transaction before the start of the new year due to work transfers.

“An increasing number of buyers realise this - and the potential to negotiate good prices, so although sales are slow in most metro areas at this time, we usually experience strong sales months in the summer,” says Vermaak.

Other coastal hotspots at the moment include Umhlanga and Zinkwazi on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, and Umhlanga sales manager, Charmaine Powell, says there is already huge interest in investment apartments in the town, which is expected to increase over the next few months.

This four bedroom, four bathroom home in Kenton On Sea has a farm-style braai, double outside shower, laundry room and flatlet. It is on the market for R2.6 million - click here  to view.

“Our market is usually very active in the summer season, thanks to the annual influx of upcountry buyers, many of whom want to purchase before the financial year-end in February. And this year, the new Pearls and Oceans developments have raised the interest levels even higher,” says Powell.

Derek Tavendale, the Chas Everitt International franchisee in Zinkwazi, says he is expecting an upsurge in sales between December and April, with most purchases being second homes that the owners plan to let for most of the year, and he says a new development on the site of the former caravan park in the town is generating significant interest.

“We are definitely expecting good sales this summer following an excellent year in which sales were consistently above average. Buy-to-let investors are encouraged by the fact that our rental market is booming, and the most active price category at the moment is R850 000 and R1.5 million, with the demand split fairly evenly between houses and townhouses,” says Mossel Bay franchisee, Chantelle Grard.

“We also have many buyers moving here permanently from Gauteng, Cape Town and Bloemfontein, and they are competing strongly with investors for well-priced and well-located properties.

This three bedroom, three bathroom home in Hermanus has a fireplace, patio and double garage. It is on the market for R3.45 million - click here  to view.

And on the ‘Whale Coast’, incorporating Hermanus, Onrus, Sandbaai, Fisherhaven, Vermont, Kleinmond, Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay, Chas Everitt International franchise owner, Dean Meijer, says sales are already robust and expected to pick up further over the next three months.

In Hermanus, he says the last three years has brought an average 20% year-on-year increase in residential property prices across the board, from vacant stands to coastal mansions, thanks to an influx of new permanent residents, mostly from Gauteng, KZN and the Free State, but also from Cape Town.

90% of purchasers are buying to live here now, and of the remaining 10%, the majority are buying with a view to living here in five or 10 years’ time, when they retire,” says Meijer.

He says Hermanus’ proximity to Cape Town and the international airport, coupled with the fact that it offers premium sea-view properties at considerably more affordable prices than the Atlantic Seaboard, makes it increasingly attractive to potential buyers.

“The growth in Hermanus’ permanent population and shortage of stands for sale has also triggered a wave of new development - and price increases - along the whole coastline, and the most affordable area now is Fisherhaven, about 15km from Hermanus, where there are still homes available in the R800 000 to R1.4 million price range,” says Meijer.

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