Taking a break

Not everyone can afford a holiday home but everyone aspires to owning a secondary property where they can escape to when it is time for some rest and relaxation. But which areas are popular destinations for people in the market for holiday homes?

With its sub tropical weather the South Coast remains popular with buyers and developments such as Zimbali and Simbithi are drawing those with extra money to spend. Ballito, Salt Rock and Sheffield Beach are also an option for those looking at buying along the South Coast. These properties are also popular with those who are in the buy-to-rent market as they can be rented out as holiday accommodation.

Although the the holiday accommodation market has seen a decrease of international tourist along the South Coast, the Cape Coast has seen an influx. The Cape coast has become very popular with international tourists looking for a more glamorous destination.  

What about local tourists and buyers? It would seem that people are venturing away from the normal spots and are heading out to explore the country. Areas such as Agulhas, Struisbaai and Arniston are gaining popularity in the market. This could be due to the natural splendour surrounding the areas, the water here is not as chilly as those further west and the plethora of activities for the whole family.

Holidays involving outdoor leisure activities are on the rise, and niche towns like Dullstroom, Clarens, Prince Albert and others hold great appeal. And the small towns are not just considered as weekend getaways anymore, they are becoming permanent residences as well. It is clear that South Africans are starting to make lifestyle changes. Bottom line: little spots, such as Churchhaven, St Francis, Clanwilliam, Paternoster and Gordon's Bay, are now beckoning to those who not only don't want to keep up with the Joneses, but also prefer to get as far away from them as possible.

Speak to many South African holidaymakers today and you'll find that the bush has become the new beach. ?A burgeoning sector of the market is choosing to holiday in exclusive developments bordering nature or game parks, such as Kruger National Park or Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, and is investing in its own or syndicated lodges. Others are heading for the plethora of superlative private game reserves where the simple life can be anything from rustic to sumptuous.

Of course, the traditional hotspots – Clifton, Plett, Hermanus, Langebaan, Umhlanga, Zinkwazi, George and Knysna, will always hold their value and appeal. But there's been a shift in mindset. Over the past decade, we've all been hit by the accelerated pace of life, the limited leisure time together, and the stresses of everything from traffic to the onslaught of easy communication, and this has moulded a new leisure market that seeks the road less travelled – and balks at it being tarred.

Add to that the 4 × 4 as standard family vehicle, the relative affordability of holidaying, or indeed buying, in little towns off the beaten track, the charm of renting or buying a cottage with fewer mod cons but more nature, more wildlife and simpler pursuits, and you have a holiday/?investment market with a new face. You need only look at the number of vehicles with mountain bike carriers and rooftop attachments for everything from tents to kayaks and it's clear that many families are going back to basics, albeit in fine style.

Some people are now buying these holiday homes with the future in mind, not so much as an investment, but as a place to retire to.

This means, of course, that previously forgotten little towns are now being remembered – like it or not. The joys of no traffic jams, limited cellphone reception, walking and talking to your kids, and making history with them, is becoming increasingly appealing. The world will always adore the seasonal buzz of Plett, the bright lights of Umhlanga, and boating on the Vaal, but there's something about Paternoster and Parys ...

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