West Coast economic and residential boom boosts Langebaan and Yzerfontein property market

The West Coast residential property market is booming, fuelled by a combination of economic growth around the Vredenburg and Saldanha hub and increased demand from buyers, says Pierre Germishuys, managing director for Seeff’s operations in the area.

HOT PROPERTY: Yzerfontein may be one of the smallest towns and markets on the West Coast, but it has an average sales price of R1.43 million compared to Langebaan’s R1.184m and now has beach homes that can compare to those of Clifton and Camps Bay.

The villages of Langebaan and Yzerfontein in particular have picked up a notable chunk of the growth with sales and prices up over the past two years, he says. Excellent activity during the first half of this year has also set the pace for a positive 2016.

“Buyers are still looking and for sellers, it is still a good time to be in the market. The demand is coming from a constant stream of people from other provinces, some heading here for economic reasons to take up part time or permanent employment in the new growth industries while others are part of the great migration to the Cape. There has also been an upsurge in older buyers with people over 50 comprising about half of sales over the last year.

“Aside from boosting residential sales, there has been a rental market explosion, especially in the Vredenburg, Saldanha and Langebaan areas,” says Germishuys.

Langebaan is now a popular commuter town for people working in the Vredenburg-Saldanha hub and its permanent resident population of around 7 800 is still growing.

A study of the Lighstone data for the past two years shows that sellers have benefited greatly with sales turnover and prices up at rates well above the national averages.

In 2013 for example, 410 freehold properties were sold in Langebaan worth a total R422m. By 2014, this had picked up by 18 percent in value and 43 percent in the number of units, and last year by a further 26 percent in value and 7 percent in unit sales.

Although Langebaan still has an average sales price of about R1.184m, a significant number of R2m-plus sales have been concluded, mostly over the last year, says Germishuys.

“At the Langebaan Country Estate alone, 10 properties were sold, ranging in price from R2.2m to R3.7m. This is quite significant and a good indication of future growth,” says Jaco Coetzee, a Seeff agent in the town.

“In Langebaan, seven homes were sold in Middedorp, priced from R2m to R3.96m in Oester Street and recently as much as R5.05m in Spierdijk Close.

“At Myburgh Park too, at least six sales have topped the R2m price mark ranging to R3.6m in Babiana Street, R4.5m in Cormorant Close and recently, R5.8m in the same street.”

Meanwhile, says Merle Nicholls, another Seeff agent in the town, about eight properties were sold at the Calypso Beach estate, at prices ranging from R2m to R4m and there were two sales at a highest price of R5.85m each. There were also two sales at Paradise Beach of R2.4m and R2.965m, a R2.5m sale in Mykonos and sales of R2.285m and R2.5m at Sunset Estate.

“The West Coast is no longer sleepy,” says Nicholls. “It is all happening in this part of the Cape that now has excellent shopping malls and there is even a Curro Private School in the area.

“We no longer have to travel all the way to Cape Town, but have almost everything we need right on hand, from clothing and restaurant brands to the two best beach restaurants, Strandloper and Strandkombuis.

“There is still strong demand almost across the board in the sub-R3m price range as well as for more affordable properties at around R1m in Kalivas at Club Mykonos and Sunset Heights. These are especially popular as buy-to-let investments,” she says.

Properties priced from about R1.7m to R2m can sell within a month and Coetzee says that even the new Blue Lagoon development is practically sold out.

“Our outlook remains positive, especially if the reported 5 000 to 6 000 new jobs to be created by the IDZ in Saldanha comes to fruition. And, it is not just sales, but the rental market that is set to continue booming. For investors too, the market offers excellent opportunities, especially in the buy-to-let sector.

“There has been good growth in rentals. For example, a 180m² home in the new Blue Lagoon that was being let at R6 000 a month late last year is now being rented at R10 000 a month.”

Marelize Huysamen, another Seeff agent, says there are now very few bargains and hardly any distressed sales in Langebaan.

“While there are plenty of properties on the market, many are overpriced and there is actually a shortage of good saleable stock. The tendency for unscrupulous estate agents to overprice properties so that they get the mandates is a draw-back for the market,” she says.

Neighbouring Yzerfontein meanwhile may rank as one of the smallest towns and markets on the West Coast with just 1 300 permanent residents, but it has an average sales price of R1.43m, says Germishuys.

“In 2013 174 freehold properties were sold for a total R172m. By last year, the value of sales had risen by 28 percent and the number of units sold by 13 percent.

Agent Michelle Livingstone-Louw says that R2.2m seems to the ceiling price buyers are looking for. While there are plenty of overpriced properties on the market, there is a shortage of saleable properties below R1.8m.

“We are also seeing a bit of speculative selling. A home I sold about four months ago for R1.35m is for example back on the market, but now at R1.9m. The challenge for sellers that are aiming too high, is that buyers have access to the internet and understand what is going on the market. They are generally too smart to overpay,” says Livingstone-Louw.

“Both Langebaan and Yzerfontein have experienced excellent growth over the last 10 years with commercial and infrastructure development along with more residential properties including excellent estates and beach complexes along with beach homes that compare favourably with Clifton and Camps Bay.”

“The proximity to Cape Town is a big plus factor. Most buyers cite the good facilities, laid-back lifestyle and largely unspoilt surrounds as key to their buying decision.”

Germishuys says Seeff has nine offices that cover the area from Jakkalsfontein to Lamberts Bay, and almost all these offices report buoyant activity in sales and rental markets.

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