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Discovered in 1497 by the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama, and one of the world’s principal fishing centres, the Cape West Coast is a region of beauty that is rich with South African history. It’s easy to see why property investors would want to buy in the area. With unspoilt beaches, mountain ranges and a vast geographical diversity, the area is widely considered to be an undiscovered gem. In winter, fishermen sell their catch directly from their boats and the harbour is alive with activity. During the months from August to November, the Southern Right Whales come to the bay to calve and can be viewed from the shoreline. St. Helena Bay is unique in that it is one of only three places in the world where the sun rises and sets over the same ocean.

The areas along the Cape West Coast consist mostly of holiday homes and retirement properties, so most property investors in the area are generally from other regions. According to Brandt, the buyer’s mix varies from local retirees and business people to holiday makers and overseas investors.

“Demand for property has been really good during 2011 with the expected increase in sales compared to last year during the holiday period, especially in Shelley Point Golf Estate, On Golden Mile and Britannia Bay. These nodes generally attract the most buyer interest,” says Brandt. “We find that the most popular properties among investors are those houses that are priced up to approximately R1,5 million that offer three bedrooms, two bathrooms with double garage, in one of the above mentioned areas. Most buyers look for properties with a sea view or a location close enough to the beach so that they can walk there.”

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that huge investment has been poured into developing these areas and making them more attractive to property investors.  “The Shelly Point Golf Estate has undergone upgrades and there are future plans for a Waterfront and small boat marina in St Helena Bay. This, along with oil exploration off the West Coast which has brought industrial development to the region, should spark further interest in the local property market,” he says.

Brandt notes that property options along the Cape West Coast are endless and they cater for everyone. “There are many good opportunities for property buyers that are looking to purchase either vacant stands or homes.”

Property prices in the region vary from around R160 000 for vacant land to R2,8 million for a beachfront stand in a golf estate. Vacant small holdings are available from R595 000, while recent house sales reflect selling prices from R575 000 for an entry-level, two-bedroom dwelling to between R950 000 and R1,95 million for a mid-level, three-bedroom, double-story house. Small holdings typically sell between R1,8 million and R2,2 million while top level homes start at approximately R2,5 million and range up to R10 million.

RE/MAX Sunset Coast currently has a range of properties on its books, one being a delightful cottage in the Shelley Point Golf Estate which is a stone’s throw away from Golden Mile Beach and offers panoramic sea views. This double-storey, three-bedroom, two-bathroom cottage features a large open-plan kitchen and scullery, dining and entertainment area with a fireplace, under cover patio with a built-in-braai and swimming pool.

Another property on the market is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Britannia Bay On Golden Mile, which features a contemporary open-plan kitchen, dining and entertainment area. There is also a second two-bedroom residence on the property with a separate entrance. It features a master bedroom with an adjoining study, a storeroom and an entertainment area that opens out onto a private patio. Both properties have their own separate lock-up garage, which has been plumbed for laundry. They are situated in a sought-after location within a short walk to the famous sheltered Golden Mile swimming beach bordering on the Shelley Point Golf Course.

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