Plan for retirement - Invest in Plettenberg Bay property

According to the latest New World Wealth Survey of wealthy suburbs undertaken in conjunction with MasterCard, Plettenberg Bay now ranks in the top three premier property locations in the country next to Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard and Sandton in Johannesburg.

According to Helen Ward of Helen Melon Properties, contrary to belief, Plettenberg Bay is not only for the super wealthy. “On average 85% of sales in Plettenberg Bay are in the region of R3 million or less. These sales don’t include sales in share block schemes and properties purchased on a life right basis.  Without a doubt awareness of Plett is growing, both nationally and internationally.”

Ward explains that the town has a very large ‘swallow’ contingent who arrive from the middle of January for nine weeks (to coincide with their visa).  “Germans, English, Irish, Welsh, Dutch, Austrians, Belgians and the French love Plettenberg Bay. Many own homes in the area and return year after year as ‘locals’. We had a very good season with foreign buyers and our sales were almost equally divided between sectional title and freehold properties.”

She says there is also an influx of buyers, specifically from Gauteng, who hope to retire to the Southern Cape. “Many of them are looking specifically at Plettenberg Bay. There is already a shortage of retirement villages within Plettenberg Bay and by all indication, demand in the future will only increase.”

The town and surrounds currently only offer two retirement villages with frail care facilities. “Formosa Garden Village (referred to as FGV by locals) is the only retirement village with a frail care facility in the town. Strombolis, which is located about 5km outside Plett and comprises wooden homes, also offers frail care. The waiting list at Formosa Garden Village fluctuates, but is in the region of 18 years.”

As the sole agents for the new The Plettenberg Manor, Ward is optimistic. “The Devmark Property Group has been involved in the development of retirement villages for the last 26 years and has an outstanding track record. All purchasers in these developments have seen significant capital growth since the acquisition of their property. I believe it will be no different with The Plettenberg Manor.”

Ward reckons investing in The Plettenberg Manor will ensure that you have a property where you can see out your twilight years in a tranquil setting with excellent security, a community centre and a place where animals are welcome. “Plus you’ll have access to frail care, with a specialist section for Dementia, which offers enormous peace of mind.”

Ward explains that the advantage of buying in at the onset of a development is that prices will rise. “With inflation, the unpredictability of the rand and growing demand for retirement homes, I do believe that the earlier one buys into such a development, the better.  I’m of the opinion that secure retirement villages are the one area of real estate in Plettenberg Bay that are excellent investments. Values will continue to rise due to demand exceeding supply. We’ve had unprecedented interest in the development to date and units are selling steadily.”

She advises younger buyers to plan for retirement early. “While rentals achieved in Plettenberg Bay are not in the same league as Johannesburg or Cape Town, there is a critical shortage of rental properties in Plettenberg Bay. Young buyers are able to secure a retirement home in one of the country’s most beautiful destinations. Currently the department of agriculture will not grant any rezoning on land that is zoned for agricultural purposes and combined with legislation around wetlands, developments on sites such as The Plettenberg Manor are scarce. These properties will be highly sought after, making them the perfect investment, and retirement home, for under 50’s.”

Ward says The Plettenberg Manor is an extremely exciting project.  “The homes have been designed for retirees. The positioning of light switches are wheelchair friendly, as are the sizes of the front and internal doors in all units. On top of it, all units are north facing. Part of the property is in fact a wetland that over the course of the development will be rehabilitated and will include board walks and bird hides. The beach is also within walking distance. The site is perfect for a retirement village in that it is flat and above both the 50 and 100 year flood plain. The development will also include a limited number of apartments and assisted living suites.”

Ward concludes that the Garden route is renowned for its natural beauty and gentle Mediterranean climate. “Plettenberg Bay, referred to by many as the Jewel of the Garden Route, has two Blue Flag beaches, magnificent mountains, lagoon and ocean vistas, and is a haven of flora and fauna.  Access to and from Plett has improved dramatically since the opening of the airport and the introduction of flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Activities range from paragliding to hiking, kayaking to whale and dolphin watching, and the range of world class golf courses, including Goose Valley and Plettenberg Bay Country Club, attracts golfers from around the world. It has a very special charm and I believe that this is due in part to the fact that we have very strict town planning policies in place. The maximum building height (commercial/mixed use) is three stories and our industrial area is not integrated into the town centre, but rather located on the western side of the N2, minutes away from the town centre by car. Furthermore, we’re close to the Eastern Cape’s game reserves such as Amakala, Shamwari, and Addo. We have a very effective local community policing forum and the quality of public services is good with ‘blue drop’ quality drinking water awards and recognised sewage treatment quality. We also have a very effective Tourist Board and promotion is under the ‘Plett!  It’s a feeling!’ slogan.  You’ll never regret investing in Plett.”

The Plettenberg Manor will offer six accommodation types ranging from assisted living units to three-bedroom exclusive homes designed in a Cape vernacular style, juxtaposing the Cape South Coast’s rural charm with sophisticated modern functionality and open plan living. Prices range from R1 595 000 to R3 825 000.

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