Franschoek sales picking up

Pam Golding Properties reports that sales remained subdued in 2010.  However, the company’s Franschhoek agents have already sold twelve properties this year, including three farms, totalling over R67 million.

PGP’s area manager for Franschhoek, Surina du Toit, says the majority of buyers – across both farm- and residential sales – have been South Africans relocating from either Cape Town or Gauteng, in search of a healthier, safer country lifestyle.  “The number of foreign buyers has dropped off significantly in recent years, due to global economic conditions as well as the strong rand,” she says.  “However October marks the start of our prime season in Franschhoek for foreign visitors, so it is possible that their interest may be rekindled – especially when they see the kind of value for money that is on offer in the current market.”

Pricing remains a crucial issue, and du Toit says properties which are overpriced are staying on the market for lengthy periods, while accurately-priced homes are selling much faster.  “There is such a wide variety on offer at the moment, and such a good range of stock, that buyers can afford to walk away from over-priced homes, knowing that there will be other options to suit their pocket and their personal taste,” she says. “On the other hand, sellers who are realistic about their expectations will find their properties moving much faster.”

PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg region, Annien Borg, says the valley with its magnificent setting and ease of access to Cape Town remains a favourite among weekenders and those seeking country holiday homes.  The vibrant town also has a growing permanent population, many of them residing in the upmarket secure estates which are scattered throughout the valley, and educating their children at the private Bridge House School.  

“Franschhoek offers such a wonderful lifestyle that it will always remain in demand,” she says.  “There are not many places where you can enjoy such glorious mountain scenery and clean fresh air, and yet within minutes be sipping coffee at a sidewalk cafe, eating at an internationally-ranked restaurant, or browsing through an upmarket art gallery or boutique.  It’s an example of rural charm and cosmopolitan chic, all rolled into one beautiful valley.  And the options for property buyers are so varied - whether you are looking for a manageable lock-up-and-go townhouse, a quaint village cottage, a family home, smallholding, lifestyle farm or major vineyard, you can find it here.”

Prices in Franschhoek currently range from an entry level of around R1 million for residential property.  One can obtain a two-bedroomed apartment in a gated estate with communal facilities such as a pool and tennis court, from around R1.1 million to R1.3 million.  

Smaller free-standing houses with two or three bedrooms, either within secure estates or in the village itself, are priced at around R4 million.  A large executive home in an exclusive secure estate can be priced around R6 million, going up to around R13 million or more for extensive homes with luxury features such as private cinemas. Lifestyle wine farms on around 20ha cost between R20 million and R30 million, with the property typically including a grand main residence, vineyards or orchards, and perhaps additional guest cottages.

Among the properties currently for sale exclusively through PGP is a 3.71ha smallholding, situated on a private country road in a prime central position in the valley. The property currently has 1.3ha planted to plums, and 1.8ha of citrus trees.  It enjoys abundant water supply and 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains.  There are no existing dwellings on the farm, so the buyer will have a blank canvas to build their own dream home.  The property is on the market at R9 million.

For those seeking a smaller country home, PGP is also marketing a typical Franschhoek cottage, dating back to 1920, and located in a quiet street on the urban edge of the village.  The three-bedroomed cottage has magnificent mountain views as well as a tidy garden with a swimming pool.  It is on the market at R2.395 million.

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