Holiday home boom expected in St Francis Bay

The holiday home market in St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape is expected to see a massive improvement on the figures seen during the holiday period last year, says Les Olivier, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX on Sea, whose office operates in the St Francis Bay and surrounding areas.

This five-bedroom property is situated in an exclusive gated estate and offers relaxed, easy living. On the market for R4.8 million, this immaculate property with its massive waterfrontage is priced for a quick sell.
“This year we are expecting a bumper season based on the huge number of rental bookings we have received. As a result, we anticipate that the market in December and January will be much better than what we experienced during the same period last year,” says Olivier. “The second home market continues to gain momentum and consumer sentiment is growing increasingly stronger.”
According to Olivier, in general renters and buyers are looking for homes with spacious entertainment areas and nice views, whether it be ocean or canal views. She notes that most want a house either on the canal or within close walking distance to the beach. Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that lifestyle benefits are highly important to buyers who are purchasing a home away from home.
Olivier notes that around 90% of their buyers are looking at purchasing either canal houses or canal plots. “The canal plots are in short supply, as there are only a limited amount available and no  more are going to be developed. The canal houses are a hot buy this December as they are situated in the most exclusive part of St Francis Bay. If you want to be seen, that is the place to be. If you have children who want to go to ‘The Ruins’ or ‘Billy’s Beach’ the canals are the place to be. It is also the ideal place for those who have a boat and want to take cruises and socialise with other holidaymakers,” says Olivier.
She adds that most buyers purchasing a second home in St Francis Bay are executives or financially established families. However the rental market is far more diverse with renters differing over a over a wider, balanced spectrum. “We’ve got young couples, young families, groups of friends, family groups and executives looking to spend their summer in the exclusive St Francis Bay,” says Olivier. “The most popular rental bracket is between R3 500 and R 5 000 per night. This will secure a luxury home on the canals, beach and or in the village. Holiday homes on the other hand sell more readily for R3 million and up.”
In terms of property sales, Olivier believes that properties from R3 million and up will be highly active this December, as this is the entry level price bracket for a freestanding dwelling on the water. “During the December period waterfront properties sell due to the fact that there is only a limited supply available.  We have only several exclusive listings on the water, whether it be on the canal or on the river – these properties are great buys and are likely to be snapped up quickly,” says Olivier.
She notes that investors with the intent of purchasing a rental property in the area could possibly see a good return on their investment. “Investors who have a rental property, maintain it and keep the prices reasonable, will see an excellent return on investment. This is provided of course that their property is appealing to the public. Over the festive period it is possible to make enough on rental income to pay for a years’ worth of levies and rates,” says Olivier. “St Francis Bay is the ideal holiday node for holiday makers and investors alike,” she concludes.

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