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What you'll pay for lifestyle farms in popular Western Cape areas

12 Jul 2019

Agricultural property remains the mainstay of most of the smaller towns of the Western Cape countryside, from the Overberg and Southern Cape coast to Namaqualand and the Karoo. Aside from a sustained demand for agricultural farms, game, stud, guest and lifestyle farms are gaining in popularity and have become a big driver of demand for country property.

This 117ha farm in Pearly Beach, Gansabaai, is close to the beach. It is selling for R15.5 million - click here to view.

This is according to Ian Badenhorst, managing director of Seeff Country and Karoo, who says owning a farm remains high on the agenda of many.

“If there is one thing that South Africans love, it is the outdoors and countryside, and we often see people moving from the main urban centres to smaller farming properties, especially in the Cape region,” he says.

Farmhouse accommodation is very popular globally, and these types of farms are well suited as second homes with many owners developing guesthouse facilities so that they can rent it out when not in use.

The attraction of the countryside is multi-faceted. Aside from reduced stress and no traffic, it often offers more security, better services as well as access to excellent schools, medical facilities and good infrastructure. Most of the areas do not have industrialisation and hence offer clean air and clear skies.

This well-maintained 360ha farm in Riversdale, Western Cape, offers beautiful views of the Langeberg Mountain Range and the ocean. It on the market for R4.9 million - click here to view.

Generally, you are within one to two hours’ drive at the most from a town, and you gain massively on lifestyle benefits. Aside from a better quality of life, your cost of living is much lower with not just water and electricity being cheaper, but also food and fresh produce from the farm, says Badenhorst.

Willie van Rensburg from Seeff Riversdale says while the market for farming properties has softened on the back of political and policy concerns, those who want to invest in a good game and stud farm, or a lifestyle or guest property, continue to do so. The benefit of investing while the market is down is that prices have been flat for the last two years, and there is more stock to choose from, although top-end properties remain scarce.

He further says that buyers often want to live on a farm, but don’t really want to indulge in commercial farming, which adds to the attraction of lifestyle-type farms. Popular areas tend to be close to tourism routes, good water sources and infrastructure.

This 160ha farm in Riversdale, Western Cape, is selling for R2.5 million - click here to view.

Game farms are popular with SA and international buyers. Owning a farm in Africa is a sought-after investment, and while many want these for their own private use, they are growing in popularity to meet the demand for more tourist products. These properties also contribute to conservation and the breeding of Africa’s rare game species and rehabilitating and preserving South Africa’s unique natural heritage.

Van Rensburg cautions that if you are going to make a considerable investment in a game or stud farm, you should do your homework and know what you are investing in. "It is a specialised sector of the property market, so be sure to work with credible agents who will provide the best guidance in terms of pricing and demand for various types of farming properties."

Seeff highlights what you can expect to pay in some of the popular areas:

1. Riversdale - R5 million to R18 million

The Riversdale area offers excellent infrastructure and schools, plus is considered safe.

This 1 381ha farm in Riversdale in the Western Cape has two houses, cottages and dams. It is on the market for R17.5 million - click here to view.

“We are seeing an uptick in buyers relocating from the inland provinces, especially Gauteng and the northern regions,” says Van Rensburg.

Lifestyle farms are priced from around R5 million to R7 million, while game farms range well above this, although overall still offering far more value compared to luxury houses in the big cities.

This 225 871ha farm in Riversdale, Western Cape, offers stud facilities, two houses and dams. It is selling for R8.32 million - click here to view.

Seeff is, for example, marketing Phisante Fontein Farm for R17.5 million. The 1 381ha property boasts a mix of commercial lucerne and sheep farming, as well as game and guest housing. 1 280ha is enclosed by a 2.4m high electrified fencing and is home to 17 species of game, including various buck such as springbuck and kudu, buffalo, zebra, giraffes and ostriches.

There is excellent infrastructure with two houses, outbuildings, offices, sheds, staff housing and equipment, along with hunting/visitors’ cottages and a conference venue. The farm has plenty of water with dams, reservoirs, a borehole and irrigation and Eskom electricity. The property can be bought with or without livestock, game and the movable property.

You can expect to pay around R8.32 million for one of the best horse stud and training farms in the country which has been operating since 2007. It comprises 225 876ha with water, excellent infrastructure and extensive equestrian and stud facilities which includes breeding and racing stables, a stallion barn, horse paddocks and more. There are two houses, a cottage, staff housing, a function venue, workshop, storage buildings along with water dams, reservoirs, and more.

This 14ha farm in Riversdale, Western Cape, offers views of the Sleeping Beauty mountain and valley. It is on the market for R6.99 million - click here to view.

For a top-class lifestyle farm, you can expect to pay around R6.99 million for a 74ha property suitable for game farming as it is completely fenced with 2.4m high Bonox fencing. The property offers stunning views of the Sleeping Beauty mountain and the valley and comes with large biodiversity as well as excellent infrastructure, including a 700sqm homestead, shed and storeroom, along with a second house which is ideal to use as a guesthouse.

2. Swellendam - R4.3 million to R12 million

Located midway between Cape Town and George, Swellendam is a popular stopover with good infrastructure, plenty of water and stunning vistas, including the towering Langeberg mountain.

Val Anderton, an agent with Seeff, says the town is popular for a variety of farms with lifestyle farms on offer in the R4.3 million to R12 million range.

Overlooking surrounding citrus farmlands, this 94.7ha farm in Bakkelys Drift, Swellendam, has three wooden cottages, a natural fountain and variety of birdlife. It is selling for R6.8 million - click here to view.

Aside from local buyers, the area has also attracted buyers from France, Holland, Zimbabwe and South Africans looking to swop the city for a country lifestyle, preferably where they can be self-sufficient and enjoy off-the-grid living.

She says that buyers invest in lifestyle farms and smallholdings to get away from city life, but given the close proximity to Swellendam, they still enjoy a country lifestyle, yet with all the benefits of amenities on their doorstep.

This 432ha farm in Swellendam, Western Cape, offers stunning views. It is on the market for R5.13 million - click here to view.

At the top end of the market, a lifestyle farm will set you back around R11.8 million for a 60ha property with two dwellings located in Bushman’s Valley. It overlooks the Langeberg mountain range and has registered water rights, three gravity-fed dams which also provides crystal clear drinking water, 8ha of arable land, irrigation and a fenced paddock. The main house is a beautiful Tuscan manor with luxury accommodation and finishes. There is also a circa 1898 Cape Dutch house which serves as a guest cottage with two bedrooms and overlooks the paddocks.

3. Gansbaai - priced from R3.5 million

This 11.64ha farm in Uilenkraalsmond, Gansbaai, is selling for R3.5 million - click here to view.

There is also no shortage of farming properties close to the Cape coast. Anet Rossouw from Seeff Gansbaai says the coastal location is what makes it popular for lifestyle farm buyers. It is also very accessible for visitors and guests as it is only about two-and-a-half hours’ drive from the Cape Town International Airport.

Prices range from R3.5 million for a rare 11.64ha property located in the heart of the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy. It has its own small indigenous forest and a small river that flows for ten months of the year through the property. There is a small two bedroom cottage on the farm, built in a Cape vernacular style, and the property definitely offers further development opportunity.

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