AA - March 2022

Author:  Richard Arderne
Principal for Pam Golding Properties
26 March 2022

Property in this seaside ‘zoom town’ in South Africa is booming

The number of residential property sales transactions in St Francis Bay surged to its highest level in a decade during 2021 – with no signs of the market demand for homes abating, says Richard Arderne, area principal for Pam Golding Properties.

According to Lightstone statistics, activity in the St Francis Bay housing market escalated last year (2021), with the highest number of freehold (173) and sectional title (55) units, sold in a decade. Rising from just 37 sales in 2012 and 117 in 2020 to 229 sales in 2021, vacant plot sales have also soared to the highest number during the past decade.

“Sales concluded in this highly appealing coastal town are across the board, including vacant plots, freehold homes and sectional title. This is a ‘zoom town’ with a very attractive lifestyle, plenty of leisure activities, especially watersports – with good water quality in its man-made canals, and a great vibe, with a well-run municipality to boot,” said Arderne.

“Situated halfway between Gqeberha and Plettenberg Bay, an appealing three-bedroom home can be acquired for R2.3 million in a brand-new residential development, Homestead Views, so it’s not surprising that more people are making St Francis Bay, and the adjacent rustic fishing village of Cape St Francis, their permanent home. This market attracts mainly families and also retirees, in particular those leading an active lifestyle.”

Arderne said approximately 45% of the 57 full title homes and 46 sectional title apartments in Homestead Views have already sold. The installation of services has already commenced, while the boundary wall and gatehouse were completed prior to the recent festive season.

“During the 12 months ended February 2022, we achieved our highest annual sales turnover in the 16 years we have been trading, with 133 units sold to a total value of R313 million, which is no small feat for a town with a population estimated at around 6 000 people. This is 25% more than our previous best sales turnover the previous 12 months, and approximately 60% more in terms of turnover and units sold per annum over the previous five years.”

He said that the bulk of home buyers are a mix of locals and those from Gqeberha, with the balance from Gauteng, Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal and overseas countries such as the UK, Holland, Sweden, Germany and America, as well as a number of farmers, acquiring properties across all price ranges.

“Sales in The Links Golf Estate in St Francis Bay have also gone well, with vacant plots priced from about R400 000 and from around 600sqm in size, and houses priced between mainly between R3 million and R6 million, but with many buyers investing significantly more in constructing their dream homes – some an additional R10 million and more.

“Prices of vacant plots have escalated, with a plot purchased for R800,000 achieving a price of R1.8 million (in 2021) in just a year.”

In Santareme, residential property owners have also seen values appreciate considerably, said Pam Golding. Arderne said that for years leading up to about 2019 the highest price achieved in the area was R5.5 million – with the top price soaring to R11 million since then for a large freehold home which is undergoing substantial upgrading.

Similarly, the Port of St Francis’s highest price achieved has climbed from R4 million to R8.5 million for a sectional title townhouse.

According to Lightstone, the St Francis Bay residential property market comprises 89.1% freehold, with 26.7% of all homes in security estates. Between 2012 and 2022, freehold prices rose by a robust 66.8% while sectional title prices rose by 101.8%.

Lightstone statistics also showed that the average price of freehold properties sold over the past 12 months (March 2021 to February 2022) was R3.097 million (in estates) and R3.359 million (outside estates).

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