Plett regaining popularity

But now, says area principal for Pam Golding Properties, Greg Stroebel, with a brand new airport imminent and an upsurge in international visitors – some of whom are purchasing property, ‘Plett’ is on an upward trend.

“There’s a refreshing new air of optimism in the market place, and we are already seeing increasing interest from property buyers in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town who are realising the exceptional value to be had in the current market. An estimated 60 percent of our target market is in Gauteng, particularly those who fly in and out of Plett for weekend getaways, or even purchase a primary residence here and then commute as required on business, or even weekly.

“As an example of some of the good buying opportunities being capitalised on at present, we recently sold a three bedroom, two bathroom home in prime position right on the beach in Beachy Head Drive for R6.5 million. This property was acquired three years ago for R7.8 million. Another property, with four bedrooms and four bathrooms and situated in Robberg Road, is currently on the market for R2.5 million, having been previously on the market for several years priced at R4.2 million,” he says.

Stroebel says the reason such opportunities exist is that due to the area’s huge popularity, with a host of recreational activities from beach sports and fishing to mountain biking and golf, over decades many people have purchased second and even third homes in Plett. “When the market began to freefall in late 2008, with consumers placed under increasing economic pressure, it was a matter of time before owners had to prioritise their financial commitments and large scale consolidation became the order of the day. As a result it became a natural decision to relinquish a holiday home first, and this trend created a significant over-supply of stock, some of which included distressed properties.”

He says currently the Plettenberg Bay residential property market is most active in the R2-R3 million price range, which typically would fetch a freehold property on an erf of some 800-1000sqm. There is a broad cross-section of properties on the market, from beach bungalows to modern, luxury Mediterranean homes, and their locations are also varied and spread across the entire Plett area into adjacent Keurbooms. Homes are usually in the region of 250-400sqm in size and on the better deals the buyer can expect a short walk to the beach or a sea view included.

Stroebel says the reason why this is such an opportune time to consider acquiring a property in the area is because all the sellers in an over-supplied market – including those under duress – are competing with each other to sell first. “In the past it was all about offering value, but now the emphasis is on liquidating an asset. This opens up a large scale opportunity for those looking to buy to move to Plett or for holidaymakers wanting a more permanent holiday venue.  
Prime Development Opportunities

“As the state of the economy and over-supply of stock lead to a considerable decrease in appetite to develop, property development opportunities have remained on the market. These are now available at significantly reduced prices to those with the vision and liquidity to acquire such ‘land banking’ opportunities for the future. In other words to hold onto prime land until the timing is right and trading conditions improve for development, at a time when the market is more active and prices appreciate. An example with sound potential is a 75 hectare site directly above Keurbooms with its own dam, priced at around R10 million. If subdivision goes ahead there could be as many as 50 plots of approximately R1.5 million each. Just 10 minutes from town, this property is currently zoned agricultural and has panoramic views of the sea and forest.”
Stroebel says Plett has never lost its appeal for outdoor lovers. Renowned for its pristine beaches the climate is considered among the top 15 most moderate, it is easily accessible directly off the N2, and has a host of sports activities including surfing, hiking, biking, sky diving, fishing, markets, restaurants, bird, elephant and monkey sanctuaries.

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