Upgrade of Strand and Gordon’s Bay beachfronts and other facilities will boost property values

The beach at Gordon’s Bay.

The False Bay coastal suburbs of Strand and Gordon’s Bay will both get major improvements by the local municipalities.

The upgrades will be rolled out over 12 years and this will speed up the already fast residential price rises witnessed here in the last two to three years, says Wouter Joubert, manager and co-franchisee of the Rawson Property Group’s franchise serving these areas.

The municipality’s programme will entail an initial outlay of at least R50 million and the projects to be undertaken will include a complete rebuilding of the Strand seawall and a reconstruction of the roads, parking areas and public facilities along the entire 3 km beachfront. A section of the beach will also be upgraded to Blue Flag status.

In addition, the municipality will construct a totally new pier next to the pavilion which will reach about 200m into the sea. The municipality will also complete the removal of the now partially demolished old pier. There are also plans to reconfigure and modernise Strand’s CBD.

“The thinking behind these encouraging improvements,” says Joubert, “is that the beachfront should be suited to walking, chatting, roller skating and children’s games, as at Sea Point – as well as for the provision of limited and controlled hawking by traders in specially constructed stalls.”

Joubert says the plan recognises that Strand is a Helderberg residential and business hub, and no longer just a retirement and holiday village as it was 25 years ago.

At Gordon’s Bay, an African private enterprise syndicate has bought the well-known Villa Via Hotel and has plans to make it the focal point of the already popular Harbour Island retail, entertainment and residential node. Here, too, the public amenities and roads and Harbour Island itself will be upgraded by the municipality.

At Strand, says Joubert, the average price of homes and sectional title units has risen in three years from R750 000 to R1 million – with the freehold homes being mostly in the R1m to R2m bracket.

In Strand, he says, there are bargains to be had, notably in the luxury high rise apartment blocks which seven to 10 years ago were brought to the market at record prices of around R30 000/m². Today they can often be had for around R12 000/m² to R15 000/m². A typical luxury two-bedroom apartment on or close to the beachfront can now be had for R1.5m.

Joubert says the franchise also has luxury Strand apartments for sale in the Hibernia and Topaz blocks where the prices are between R2.5m and R4m.

“At Gordon’s Bay the low lying houses still sell for an average of R850 000. For those on the mountainside, prices can be anywhere from R2,5m to R8m,” says Joubert.

“Ongoing canvassing for stock and intensive advertising have ensured that this franchise has over 300 homes on its stock list and at the moment the team is selling 15 to 20 homes a month.

“The huge demand,” says Joubert, “is not just from those who want to live and possibly work here but also from the growing number of buy-to-let investors who see this as an area in which capital appreciation is assured.”

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