Luxury market continues to flourish on the Garden Route

Despite the challenging economic conditions surrounding the property market over the past year, Broker/Manager of RE/MAX Coastal, Chris van der Merwe, says that in their area of operation there has been just as much movement in the luxury home segment as in the entry-level home segment.

Operating in the Knysna, Sedgefield and Wilderness areas, Van der Merwe says notes that over the last 12 months there has been a definite increase in both enquiries and sales in the higher end of the market. “We have experienced an uptick in sales activity in the region on the upper end the scale, predominantly in the R5 million to R7.5 million price bracket. This interest has mainly been for properties situated within gated estates such as Thesen Islands, Pezula Golf Estate and Pezula Private Estate in Knysna. There is also particularly high demand for luxury beach homes in Wilderness,” he says.

According to Van der Merwe the region attracts many buyers who are looking to purchase their retirement homes. “The average age of buyers who are purchasing homes in the region is around 60 years old. Most of the buyers in our areas range in age from 55 years old to 65 years old. The Garden Route is the ideal place to retire because of its lifestyle offering.

Considered to be one of the most scenic and beautiful regions in the country, it offers residents aesthetic surroundings and a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of city living. The region is home to beaches and lagoons, forests and mountains and provides the ultimate terrain for adventure trails and hiking, bird watching, canoeing and a host of water sports. The area is also renowned for its golf courses,” says Van der Merwe.

He adds with the area’s unique offering and a reputation for being one of the safest parts of the country, it is easy to see why so many buyers in the luxury segment of the market are choosing the Garden Route as their preferred region of investment when it comes to purchasing a luxury home – whether as a permanent residence, retirement investment or holiday home.

Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, says that although the luxury home market has slowed in recent years in many parts of the country, there are sought-after nodes that continually allure buyers due to the lifestyle and security offerings they provide - the Garden Route is one such area.

According to Van der Merwe around 10% of buyers in the region are foreign investors, 10% are expats returning to the South Africa from countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Panama City. He notes that the remaining 80% of buyers is split equally between corporates and people who are semigrating from Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Van der Merwe reports that the price range of luxury property in the region starts at R5million and goes up to approximately R50million, depending on the location, whether or not the home is situated on a secure estate and what views and features the property offers. The kind of features luxury home buyers could expect within this price range would include floor space of 500m² upwards, four bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a heated pool, two to three garages, a walk-in wine cellar, gym, strong room for valuables, underfloor heating, a central vacuum system, a built-in music system, intelligent lighting, Wi-Fi, putting green with a bunker and white water ocean views.

RE/MAX Coastal currently has a luxury home on the market within the Pezula Golf Estate. Set on a large stand of 4000m², the four-bedroom home offers a sense of space with proximity to nature and the ocean.

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