Wynberg property - leafy charm and value for money

Wynberg also offers superb value for money, whether you are looking for a family home, starter home, or a quaint cottage for downscaling purposes. The lifestyle on offer is also enviable, including top schools, ample sports and recreation facilities, easy accessibility to town via the M3 highway, and a cosmopolitan cafe culture in Little Chelsea.

Wynberg was first established in the 1650’s, when the land was granted to farmers to supply fresh produce for the Dutch settlement at the Cape and passing VOC ships.  In 1683 the first private estate was sold off to one Herman Weeckens, who named his farm “De Oude Wjinbergh”, acknowledging the early vineyards which had been planted on the slopes.  Some 50 years later when a formal anchorage was established in Simon’s Town, the area became an important stop-over on the wagon route to Cape Town.  After the British seized control of the Cape in 1795, the suburb quickly developed into a garrison for British troops, with the Wynberg Military Base being established in 1804. This facility endures to this day, while the adjacent 2 Military Hospital further enforces the suburb’s military links.  But today, Wynberg has a quieter residential character with large trees lining its streets, ample green areas, and small pockets of commercial activity dominated by the antique, arts and decor trade.

PGP’s area manager for the Southern Suburbs, Howard Markham, says Wynberg has a wide variety of residential properties, from well-preserved Victorian cottages to townhouses in secure complexes and substantial family homes set in large gardens. “Prices vary quite considerably within the suburb,” he says, “but a typical entry level property such as a two-bedroomed cottage with a small garden, costs around R1.2 million.  A standard family home or three-bedroomed townhouse in a secure complex can be purchased for around R1.7 million, while at the top end, more luxurious family homes in the large gardens of Upper Wynberg/Trovato can cost in excess of R6 million. Currently the most demand is being seen in the price range around R1.5 million to R2 million, resulting in a shortage of stock in this bracket.  Homes in this price range are sought after by young families, while we are also seeing interest from downscalers, including Constantia residents who want to downsize and simplify their lifestyle after their children have left home, without leaving the valley they love.”

The upmarket pocket of Wynberg Chelsea was proclaimed an urban conservation area in 1981.  The streets here are peppered with well-preserved historic buildings and pretty cottages, creating the atmosphere of a small English village.  Bougainvilleas and climbing roses add to the unique character, which is fiercely guarded by the Old Wynberg Village Society, and best appreciated on foot via one of the society’s walking tours.  The area obtained its informal name in the 1950’s, when many artists and decorators settled there, reminding onlookers of London’s arty Chelsea district.  

Today its prices place it out of reach of most struggling bohemians, but the area retains its links to the artistic community via the many galleries, antique and decor shops which line its streets, many of them located in beautifully-restored cottages.  Smaller cottages can very occasionally be obtained around the R1.5 million mark, while a two-bedroomed townhouse in this section of Wynberg can cost between R2 million and R2.5 million or more.

Trovato Estate, located on the upper slopes of Wynberg Hill, is highly sought-after for its secure environment, which includes 24-hour security patrols, a single access point and network of security cameras.  There are fewer than one hundred homes in this pocket, and the area is characterised by many smaller homes in need of some renovation, which can be obtained from around R3.5 million.  Larger homes with established gardens and those already refurbished to modern luxury standards can cost up to R8 million.  Due to its hillside location, the area also offers magnificent views across the valley and all the way to the sea.

PGP’s MD for the Western Cape metro region, Laurie Wener, says green spaces are another selling point of the entire suburb.  “Wynberg residents are privileged to have access to not one but two expansive green lungs, as well as other smaller local parks” she says.  “Wynberg Park dates back to 1902, and has 22ha of sloping lawns, with huge trees, a magnificent conifer garden and spectacular hydrangea beds, as well as popular family braai areas.  The adjacent Chart Farm is one of the city‘s best-kept secrets, where you can pick your own fresh roses or simply enjoy some tea and cake while drinking in the view over the Constantia Valley.  And as if that wasn’t enough, residents can also enjoy the famous Maynardville Park, home to the annual Community Chest Carnival as well as the popular outdoor theatre which hosts Shakespeare plays and ballet performances on balmy summer evenings.  Maynardville is in the midst of an R800 000 revamp which will include improved walkways, lighting, parking and children’s play areas, and there is even the possibility of the old Maynard Cottage being converted into a restaurant.  This will definitely restore the park to its rightful place as a meeting place and relaxation centre for all residents of Wynberg.”

The cherry on top for family buyers is access to top-ranked schools.  Wynberg Boys’ High School is the second oldest school in the country, established in 1841, and occupies expansive grounds on a portion of the renowned Hawthornden Estate.  Along with its sister school Wynberg Girls’ High it offers some of the best sporting facilities in the city, and consistent academic achievement – the girls’ high school, for example, has achieved a 100 percent matric pass rate for the past 20 years.  The acclaimed private girls’ school Springfield Convent is also located in Wynberg, while the suburb also has several alternatives for primary school learners.

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