It doesn’t cost the earth to live at the sea

“Yes, some of our prime coastal suburbs are outside the reach of the average buyer, but there are still appealing locations where modern, good quality homes can be acquired,” says Wener.  “The beauty of living in Cape Town is that there are literally kilometres of coastline offering magnificent views, easy access to the beachfront and a healthy outdoor lifestyle.  And while some of these locations might have seemed somewhat remote or under-resourced in the past, in recent years, many of them have developed extensive infrastructure such as schools, shopping centres, hospitals and recreational facilities.  The result is that they need no longer be considered as weekend or holiday getaways, but are now viable alternatives for a primary place of residence.  And thanks to high-speed and wireless internet connections, they are even the ideal place to set up a home office.”

A prime example is the Tableview/Blouberg area, which has changed dramatically over the past decade.  Once somewhat sparsely developed and difficult to access due to traffic congestion, it now offers a wide range of amenities including private schools and hospitals, shopping centres, gyms and other sports facilities, including a dedicated scenic jogging lane stretching all the way from Lagoon Beach to Big Bay.  “This is now a fully-functioning suburban area, equipped with all the facilities one could desire to support the community,” says PGP’s area manager for the Western Seaboard, Ivan Swart.

“The development of the Bus Rapid Transit system has also made it far more accessible for those working in the central city.  There is a huge variety of properties to choose from, and one can still obtain a good-sized family home in some of the suburbs such as Bloubergrant, for under R1.5 million.  In Big Bay, apartments can be purchased from around R800 000, while a well-appointed family home will cost between R1.7 million and R5 million. And one can even buy a beachfront apartment in a prime section like Bloubergrant, for as little as R1.5 million – this, in a building right on the front row.  Such prices would be unheard of in other coastal suburbs.”
Swart adds that it is currently fairly expensive to build in the area, with building costs ranging from around R6 000 per sqm to as much as R10 000 per sqm.  “It is definitely more cost-effective to buy an existing home than to build in the current climate,” he says, “or at least to buy and renovate an older home to your personal taste.”

The Tableview/Blouberg area also has a strong rental market at present, further boosted by the BRT development.  PGP’s Western Cape rentals director Dexter Leite says one can rent a beachfront apartment for between R6 000 and R9 000 per month, with the highest demand being seen in the R6 000 to R7 000 price bracket.  Freestanding homes can be rented for between R11 000 and R20 000 per month.

Another example lies further up the West Coast, in the town of Langebaan.  Located around 120km from Cape Town, it has long been regarded as the ideal holiday or weekend destination, thanks to its lagoon-side setting with abundant opportunities for watersports, bird-watching and spring flower-gazing.  But PGP’s area manager Stephanie Wynne Cole points out that one-time holiday or investment homes can now easily be utilised as places of permanent residence, thanks to the development of far more extensive facilities and amenities than were previously accessible in the town.  “We now have three excellent private schools, catering for children from Grade R all the way through to Grade 12,” she says.  “There are also countless leisure activities to choose from, including excellent yachting facilities and nearby golf courses, as well as the pristine West Coast National Park.  The town has its own doctors, pharmacists, vets and numerous restaurants – in short, there is everything one could need for daily living.”

Prices in Langebaan remain very competitive – one can obtain a two-bedroomed apartment set just two blocks back from the lagoon, for under R900 000.  There are excellent retirement facilities available with spacious homes priced under R1.5 million, while family homes with three to four bedrooms and a double garage can be obtained from around R1.2 million to R1.6 million.  A larger home with excellent lagoon views may cost between R2 million and R3 million.

For those considering building, prices are currently standing at around R5 000 per sqm to R7 000 per sqm.  Wynne Cole says plots can be purchased on the town’s golf estate from as little as R120 000 to R350 000, making this an affordable and attractive consideration.

Langebaan has an active rental market for both holiday lets and long-term leases.  Leite says holiday homes on the beach can vary from R1 600 per day for a three-bedroomed home, to R3 500 per day for a larger property with six or seven bedrooms.  Long-term rentals see prices of between R13 000 and R16 000 per month for beachfront homes, or R6 000 to R9 000 per month for properties set further back from the beach.

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