Author: property 24
23 January 2021
Explorer’s Garden Route / Sedgefield, Wilderness, Stilbaai and Witsand pique buyers’ interest
The Garden Route property market, George in particular has continued to thrive, despite the recessionary times that the rest of the country has been feeling.
Competition is said to be tough between these Garden Route towns with buyers having good knowledge of locations, and the proximity to the good hospitals and airport access all important factors to consider.
According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, semigration trends to coastal towns have been seen all around the country following the hard lockdown. “Investors who enter these markets early stand to benefit greatly from the increasing demand in these areas and are sure to enjoy good returns on their investment in the long-term.”
But towns like Sedgefield, Stilbaai and Witsand are popular as interest spreads across what is known as the Explorer’s Garden Route.
Great investment opportunities in the laidback Sedgefield
“Sedgefield is also the cheapest per square meter when it comes to property within the Garden Route and is, therefore, a good destination to consider as an investment,” says area expert Louis du Preez of RE/MAX.
Sales of between R7 million to R9.5 million have recently been registered in the area.
“There is a definite trend of people moving down to the coast because of the lifestyle it offers and now that they are able to work remotely. The safety and security of the area, as well as the proximity of excellent schools, are also major drawcards. In time to come, R12.5 million will not be top-end of this increasingly popular market,” says Louis du Preez of RE/MAX Lakes.
He adds that the Cola Beach market is fast becoming increasingly active. “We are seeing more and more upmarket homes being designed and built along the Claude Urban strip which, in time, is likely to become the Camps Bay property market of Sedgefield,” he suggests.
Chris van der Merwe, Broker/Manager of RE/MAX Coastal that operates in Knysna, Wilderness and Sedgefield, explains that in the six-month period following the hard lockdown, the office’s sales volume has increased by around 27% and the average time on market is around 30 days. “We can attribute the increased interest and number of sales in our area to the safe environment it offers and the ability for one to adopt a virtual home office.”
Discover nature in Wilderness
Wilderness is home to wide beaches and trails. It also offers a very efficient local government and well-run municipality, good law enforcement, good schools and roads are in excellent condition.
Sandra Boshoff and Mollie Nel, Pam Golding Properties agents in Wilderness, say they have seen a lot of activity in the properties priced under R3 million and R4 million.
“Buyers are mostly locals from upcountry. Many buyers are looking at holiday home for the present, but for retirement in the near future. We also see many buyers semigrating or planning to semigrate here for permanent relocation,” say the agents.
“Lock-up-and-go, small holdings, beachfront property, vacant stands, homes in security estates and properties with views have also been popular. The lockdown has made a lot of people realise they can work remotely. Also scaling down has resulted in some looking to go smaller – with lower maintenance.”
Holiday lifestyle and homes for retirees in Stilbaai
Stilbaai’s appeal extends well beyond its Blue Flag beaches. Pam Golding Properties agent Louise Christie, for Stilbaai, says most of the buyers are relocating for retirement – which tends to be a long-term plan.
“We compete heavily with towns such as Mossel Bay; Knysna; Groot Brak; Dana Bay. These towns have the advantage of good proximity to the airport and established hospitals.”
Situated in Hessequa, 26kms off the N2, it has a well-run municipality celebrating its sixth clean audit. The town is flanked on either side by two equally well-run municipalities allowing for a belt of co-operative ordinance that leads to an improved standard of living that keeps the crime levels low.
There is also a functional police station, library and clinic, well-established schools known for both their academic and sporting achievements. The area is also currently performing well in olive production and boasts three award-winning olive farms.
“It is not unusual to work with these buyers for up to three years before they make a final decision. Competition is tough between the Garden Route towns with buyers having good knowledge of locations from the airport to the most South Western point. The work from home factor has bought an increase in younger people with WI-FI playing a big role in their decision.” says Christie.
For the past three months, they have noted a shift from holiday home purchase to primary residence. Increased demand for rental has also been noted, however, there is no stock available, according to Christie.
“Buyers are predominantly cash purchasers, but there is now an increase in buyers seeking bonds. The market is seeing very low offers in the belief it is a buyers’ market, however, our sellers are debt-free so are not forced to sell.”
“We see ongoing activity in the market from R1.8 million to R2.3 million, and new properties entering the market are coming on at over R3 million,” says Christie.
“Buyers are interested in freehold and single-storey properties with double garage. They will do renovations but most looking at the upper reaches of their budget are not prepared to build that second garage. Buyers are often surprised at the prices as they were expecting to pay less because it is a small town. However, this is a highly desirable location.”
Go fishing in Witstand
Witstand is a peaceful, coastal town on the Breede River Estuary, popular for fishing, kitesurfing and unspoilt white beaches.
Pam Golding Properties agent in Witstand Francois Kotze says properties priced well, usually get sold.
“Properties with a beautiful sea or river view are always popular, but these come at a premium price. Most buyers purchasing in the area are from all over the country and they are mostly looking to buy holiday homes, with properties below R2 million price band seeing more interest.”
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