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You don’t have to buy a holiday property to have 5-star getaways

13 Jan 2020

With the holiday season still lingering, many people will have visited coastal or inland areas they really like. This could make the idea of buying a second home for use as a holiday retreat - and possibly for renting out when they are not using it themselves - attractive.

This home in a popular Western Cape holiday village, Pearly Beach in Gansbaai, offers nine bedrooms, seven bathrooms, 'binnebraai', pool, and is a 300m walk to the beach. It is selling for R4.999 million - click here to view.

So says Alexander Swart Property director, Rowan Alexander, who explains it is “perfectly understandable, for example, for a Cape family that has spent a few weeks in a place like Langebaan to feel that they should have a second base there; one which they can visit and enjoy regularly.”

By the end of this summer, the agents working in the holiday areas will undoubtedly have made several more sales, he says.

“If you do this purely for the emotional satisfaction of owning a home in a place that you love, well and good. If, however, you are hoping to do this and make a satisfactory financial investment, you are on the wrong track.”

A home of around R2 million in Stonewood Security Estate, Kraaifontein, in Cape Town's Northern Suburbs, could bring in a rental in the region of R15 000 per month. This three bedroom, two bathroom property is on the market for R2.015 million - click here top view.

There are better ways of accessing a home in the country areas, which are financially much more profitable, says Alexander.

The basic weakness of many holiday areas, says Alexander, stems from the fact that so many of them underwent rapid development in the boom years of the early 2000s. In, for example, Langebaan, he says it was particularly noticeable when other nearby areas saw rapid industrial development while in Hermanus unprecedented growth took place due to newly opened adjacent land tracts being far less expensive. 

Whatever the cause, the boom led to very rapid development and ultimately, in many places, to an over-supply of stock.

The rent from a suburban property investment, or part of it, could be used to rent a R3 million to R4 million holiday home

“If one looks at the Cape West coast, there was a time when the developers struggled to keep up with demand. Now, however, most of the plentiful unsold stock on offer there is available at very substantial discounts, some as high as 75%, which can increase the appeal of buying there.”

Nevertheless, Alexander advises the average cautious investor to consider an alternative arrangement: take what money you have available and put down a deposit on a second home in the R1.5million to R3 million bracket in a popular suburban area, reasonably close to the centre of the city, with good schools and retail centres, satisfactory security arrangements and attractive public open spaces. “Rent this out and use the rents (or part of them) to rent a holiday home on an annual basis,” he says.

This townhouse in Stellenryk, Bellville, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, communal swimming pool, and is close to schools and amenities. It is priced at R1.995 million - click here to view.

Why is it a sound plan? Alexander says the suburban property will appreciate in value at two or three times the speed of the holiday property and its rent in relation to its capital cost will be higher.

“Suppose a purchaser bought a home in the new Trinity development, Stonewood and paid +\- R2 million; this home would probably bring in a rent of R15 000 per month and he would have no problem finding a tenant.

“The rent or part of it could be used to rent a R3 million to R4 million holiday home monthly, which is very much in the upper bracket. As a tenant he would have no maintenance costs, which on the coast can be high. Furthermore, at the end of a year, he would have the option of going elsewhere.

You have to look at the basic arithmetic of these arrangements, says Alexander. “Within five years in the current market the Stonewood home bought for around R2 million, will have increased in value to about R3 million and will be readily saleable. The holiday home, valued at the same price i.e. R 2 million will in the current conditions have increased in value only to about R2.4 million and will not be easy to sell.

“The logic of investing in a suburban home rather than a faraway holiday property is in my view irrefutable - but there will always be those who prefer to own rather than rent,” he says.

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