South Africans pack for Hermanus instead of Perth

With the exchange rate currently at about R8 to an Australian dollar it is not only cheaper to move to Hermanus instead of “Down Under”, says Ludwig Schulenburg of the local Aida franchise, but Hermanus also meets all the criteria of the most popular Australian destinations.

"The town is relatively crime free, offers a wonderful lifestyle on the coast, a pleasant climate, and business opportunities aplenty," he says. "And, of course, buyers who opt for Hermanus instead of Perth still have their local support network of family and friends."

Hermanus, traditionally a holiday and retirement destination, now regularly draws economically active buyers from large metropoles in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Cape, he says, and the new 'settlers' have swelled the number of permanent residents to 55 000.

"Buyers are typically in their forties and relocate to Hermanus to escape the rat race, but the booming local economy allows them to set up own businesses, earn a living at their own pace and have time to spend with their families.

"The local state school, with a 100% matric pass rate for the past 17 years, is an added attraction and a Curro private school, which opened its doors earlier this year, now offers parents the choice of giving their children a private school education."

Holiday homes are, however, still in demand and buyers are taking advantage of market-related prices, Schulenburg says. Sellers, who up until very recently held out for their asking prices, are now much more inclined to negotiate with prospective buyers in order to clinch a deal.

Prices of two-bedroom apartments currently start at around R600 000, townhouses are selling at prices from R800 000, while prices of family homes start at the R1m mark, he says.

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