Hermanus is filling up with full-time residents

The exponential growth experienced by Hermanus in the past two years has stabilised, allowing estate agents to briefly catch their breath before the start of the holiday season.

Hermanus is rated as the world’s best destination for land-based whale watching, but it is attracting an increasing number of permanent residents as well as holidaymakers and property prices are rising.

So says Dean Meijer, owner of the Chas Everitt Whale Coast franchise, whom explains that while Hermanus remains one of the Cape’s favourite vacation destinations, the town has also welcomed many new permanent residents in recent times.

“In particular we have noticed an influx of ‘semi-grants’ from Gauteng and KZN, who have decided to make Hermanus their home. People are eager to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city and come here for the village atmosphere. In fact Hermanus is not really a small town anymore, but it still has a strong community spirit.

“Hermanus is also the commercial hub of the Whale Coast, offering much in the way of employment in the tourism and hospitality sectors. And property buyers here are encouraged by the fact that the Overstrand Municipality was ranked as the best performer in an independent study of SA’s 278 municipalities, and awarded a clean audit for the 2013/14 fiscal year.”

He says that about half of the recent buyers in the town are between the ages of 50 and 64 and planning their retirement, but that many are younger working couples with growing families.

“However the popularity of Hermanus has put upward pressure on prices, which have risen by up to 15% over the past two years. The average price of homes in the upmarket suburbs of Eastcliff, Fernkloof, Hermanus Heights, Kwaaiwater and North Cliff is R3m.”

Meijer notes, though, that there is a waiting list for homes in the luxury lifestyle estates of Hemel en Aarde and Fernkloof Golf Estate, where many homes have broken through the R10m price threshold, and says Hermanus will probably never see new developments of this calibre again, owing to the scarcity of land.

“After nine years developers are, however, starting to cater to demand in the medium price range once more and are building several new gated estates. Homes are also available in the outlying areas of Onrus, Vermont and Sandbaai at prices from around R1,2m.”

And for those who wish to retreat to the serenity of the surrounding holiday towns, holiday homes are available at an average price of around R1,4m in Kleinmond, Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay, he says.

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