Transport upgrades boost appeal of Western Seaboard

The vastly improved road access to Cape Town’s Western Seaboard has boosted the appeal of property in the area – and with further construction plans still on the cards, it seems likely that demand will continue to grow.

So says Ivan Swart, Pam Golding Properties’ (PGP’s) area manager for the Western Seaboard, who believes recent projects including the Integrated Rapid Transit (IRT) bus service and re-designed Koeberg Interchange have had a significant positive impact on buyer sentiment.  Swart’s area spans from Milnerton and Lagoon Beach, up the West Coast as far as Melkbosstrand.

“We have already been seeing the positive impact of the IRT bus system for some time now,” says Swart, “but the completion of the new Koeberg Interchange has even further boosted accessibility to this area.  Previously the main access arteries to the Western Seaboard were hopelessly congested, and vehicles would have lengthy waits to access networked roads such as the M5.  This deterred a number of buyers who did not want to spend their mornings stuck in traffic and stressed about being late for work, as they tried to commute into the city.  The new interchange has eased these delays considerably, allowing for a smooth flow of traffic, while the proven reliability and affordability of the IRT buses has helped reduce the number of vehicles making use of these roads in the first place.  More and more residents of the Western Seaboard are utilising the bus system to commute to work and back, while on weekends, residents enjoy the ease of access to entertainment facilities in the city, such as the V&A Waterfront.  They can save money on petrol and parking, and can have a glass of wine or two, knowing that they will be driven home in safety.”

PGP’s MD for the Western Cape metro region, Laurie Wener, says the improved accessibility has put further-outlying suburbs such as Parklands and Sunningdale “back on the map” for many buyers who would previously not have considered them.  “And with plans on the table for the next stage of road infrastructure upgrades, including a new road linking Sunningdale and Parklands to the N7, the situation can only improve,” she says.  “Coupled with the proposed expansion of the IRT system, it’s all likely to continue driving demand for homes.  The ease of commuting has switched from being severely lacking to being a significant positive draw-card for the area – particularly for younger and first-time buyers, who might prefer to invest their still-limited funds in a property, rather than spending on the running costs of private vehicles.  For buyers in this category, a reliable public transport system is essential – and the Western Seaboard can now say confidently that it delivers on that criterion.”

Swart says demand in suburbs such as Parklands, Sunningdale, Big Bay and Blouberg surrounds is strongly weighted in the mid-level price range at present, with a large number of buyers looking for two- or three-bedroomed houses priced between R850 000 and R1.5 million.  “There is also increased interest in entry-level homes, including two-bedroomed apartments priced from R400 000 to R750 000,” he says.  “There is still sustained interest in the top end of the market, which for these areas, can be anything from R2.5 million upwards - however the majority of enquiries in this bracket are still below the R4 million mark.  Value for money is a huge driver in our area – buyers are drawn here not only for the wonderful seaside lifestyle and panoramic views, but also for the purchasing power they can enjoy, obtaining far larger and more luxurious homes and gardens than they might be able to afford in other more centrally-located areas.”

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