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Western Cape the ‘retirement mecca’ of South Africa

08 May 2017

It’s no secret that the Western Cape’s residential property market is outperforming every other province in the country, and recent data suggests that it’s predominantly due to migration from other provinces.

This three bedroom, three bathroom estate home in Stellenbosch has an undercover patio with built-in braai, pool and private garden. It is on the market for R7.15 million – click here to view.

This is according to Bruce Swain, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group, who says  a new report by Lightstone Property analysts indicates that there has been a significant increase in senior citizens investing in property in the Western Cape.

“In 2005 when Lightstone started tracking the numbers, 22% of residential properties that transacted in the province were purchased by buyers over the age of 65, and this has increased to 35% in 2016,” says Swain.

According to the latest data, he says, 73% of buyers purchasing property in Eastford Downs, Knysna, 70% of buyers in Helderberg Village, Somerset West, and 64% in Klipfontein, Malmesbury, are over the age of 65.

“We believe that the perception that the Western Cape government functions better and the surge of secure estates and sectional title developments, which are seen to be more secure and require less maintenance, in areas like Somerset West are major drawcards for people looking to retire,” Swain.

He says these figures are likely also boosted by the fact that the appeal of the Western Cape has been greatly enhanced over the past decade or so.

This three bedroom, two bathroom home in Nooitgedacht Estate, Stellenbosch, has an open-plan dining area with fireplace and leads out to a braai room. It is on the market for R2.57 million – click here to view.

According to John Loos, FNB Household and Property Sector Strategist, the province has developed a highly skills-dependent service-driven economy, and the 2nd highest Per Capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) behind Gauteng. Coupled with an appealing lifestyle, it’s easy to see why Cape Town has the lowest percentage of repeat buyers leaving the province, as well as the strongest net inward migration from other areas.

“In the past six months we have seen a lot more people from other provinces, mostly Gauteng, looking to buy here. Unfortunately, what they don’t realise is that prices here are a lot higher,” says Giel Viljoen, Principal of Leapfrog Property Group, Stellenbosch.

The over 50s are realising that they should scale down, and because of the sizes of the plots they realise that they will have to face stairs - if you build on a 140sqm to 400sqm plots with 50% covering you have to go double storey. This is the case with most estates, namely Welgevonden Estate, Capolavoro Estate and Nooitgedacht Estate.

“In these estates prices range anything from R2.2 million now to R3.8 million. Then your plot sizes varies from 140sqm to 500sqm, with house sizes ranging from 130sqm to 250sqm average,” says Viljoen.

This three bedroom, two bathroom apartment in a retirement resort in Strand North offers access to an indoor heated pool, gym and an on-site full-time day clinic. It is on the market for R5.6 million – click here to view.

Brandwacht Aan Rivier, Aan De Weber, Digteby Estate and Longlands Estate are more exclusive estates, and Viljoen says they have seen more and more over 50’s from other provinces buying here.

Property prices in these estates range from R4 million to R10 million, depending on the location and offering. Location plays a big role in Stellenbosch, with Brandwacht Aan Rivier achieving excellent growth as it is close to all amenities.

“We have seen that security plays a massive role when these buyers are looking for properties,” says Viljoen.

“We’ve also noticed a slight problem in that buyers from other provinces come wanting to purchase property here, but still have to sell their homes and are struggling to sell them in time. In Stellenbosch, correctly priced estate properties up to about R10 million will sell within three months on average, so it’s critical for buyers to time their property sales correctly.” 

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