Historic homes boost the appeal of Simon’s Town property

The treasure of historical homes and buildings in Simon’s Town is a big draw card for property buyers, say Andrea Booth and Lola Casey, Seeff’s agents for the area.

They say that properties from beautiful old Victorian cottages and houses to a grand mansion in the main road are always in demand as homes as well as for business purposes.

The only challenge is that these are seldom on the market and are usually snapped up quite quickly.

Simon’s Town is dominated by naval activity and occupies a scenic position with sea and fynbos mountain views as far as the eye can see. Its location on the False Bay coast en route to Cape Point also makes it a popular holiday spot, attracting day, weekend and holiday visitors almost year-round.

Home to just over 8 000 residents who enjoy a laid-back lifestyle, the suburb is not short of facilities and boasts excellent infrastructure. As it is a tourist town, there are plenty of street cafés and restaurants here and further towards Kalk Bay and Muizenberg.

The suburb is predominantly tied to the naval development with attractions such as Just Nuisance, the world famous dog who was awarded the title of Able Seaman in the Royal Navy, celebrated with a life-sized bronze statue in Jubilee Square.

There is also the historical mile that runs along St George’s Street with about 21 landmark buildings.

“Although about half of all the properties in Simon’s Town have been owned for 11 years and more, we are seeing quite a bit of movement in the market with especially younger buyers moving in. It remains a popular retirement spot though, especially for buyers looking for a coastal destination close to a metropolitan area.

“Data from Lightstone points to a fairly brisk market in 2015 with 212 property transactions worth just under R440 million, about 16 percent higher than the previous year in unit terms and 33 percent more in value.

“The market ended the year with an average freehold house price of R2.3m, almost 30 percent more than in 2014. This reflects the demand for property in the village,” say Booth and Casey.

Property in the village comprises mostly freehold houses, priced from around R1.5m to R15m for a historical home in St George’s Street.

ABC House is a Simon’s Town landmark and originally housed the Attwell Baking Company. It dates to around 1897, although the original smaller building was built in 1888. It has spectacular sea and mountain views and is set over three floors with a lift.

While maintaining most of the original features including the wooden sash windows and doors, it has been restored and renovated. Features include wooden floors, raw-brick feature walls, an interesting glass inset on the upper floor and trendy bathrooms.

“The property has a modern designer kitchen and adjacent open-plan dining room with space for a 12-seater dining table. There are five king-size bedrooms, four bathrooms, a security room, a yoga studio, a gym with a steam shower, staff accommodation, an income producing flat and a seven-car garage. A sheltered decked terrace has braai facilities and a swimming pool and remarkable views,” say the agents.

The history of the building is tied to the naval origins of the suburb as it initially served as the Naval Club and from 1897 to 1929 was occupied by the Attwell Baking Co. which provided bread to the navy.

At present, the streetfront is occupied by businesses including Seeff’s offices and the upper levels are a residential home.

The agents say the property offers excellent development potential and could be used as a boutique hotel or hospitality establishment.

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