Popular marathon shines spotlight on Wellington

The Boland town of Wellington is preparing to shake off its small town peace and quiet – at least for the upcoming long weekend, which commences with Freedom Day on Friday 27 April.  

The 25th annual Safari Half-Marathon will take place in the town on Workers’ Day (Tues 1 May 2012), bringing with it an influx of visitors including up to 11 thousand runners, their support teams and spectators.  Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that the race is the town’s biggest sporting event and an institution on the local calendar. It also provides an ideal opportunity to showcase the property offering in the scenic valley.

PGP’s area manager for Wellington, Paarl and Franschhoek, Surina du Toit, says the event attracts not only serious athletes, but also a number of families who enjoy competing in the fun-run, big walk and team relay events.  “The beauty of it is that this is the very target market for which Wellington property holds appeal,” she says. “Families may come here for a fun weekend together, but will leave having been exposed to the magnificent scenery, delightful small-town atmosphere and safe, family-friendly environment, as well as the ease of access to Cape Town and the rest of the Winelands.  We hope this exposure may encourage more families to consider settling in Wellington on a permanent basis.  It’s an excellent opportunity to showcase the town to an audience from Cape Town and further afield, who might not previously have been familiar with the area.”

While Wellington remains a small town with just under 60 thousand residents, its popularity has been growing in recent years, as reflected in PGP’s own sales data.  In 2010, the company sold 32 properties in Wellington - but in 2011, the figure climbed to 55, to a total sales value of R63 million for the year.  This represented close to 40 percent of all sales concluded during the year, including both private and agency sales.  “There is exceptional value for money on offer, “ says du Toit, “with the typical sales price of homes in Wellington being between R800 000 and R1.5 million.  Even our very top end suburban properties sell for a maximum of around R3 million, although prices do climb above that level for the sought-after lifestyle farms and smallholdings.”

Wellington is popular with families due to its excellent schools and spacious, affordable family homes on large stands, many of them with scenic views of the surrounding mountains and vineyards.  It also has a substantial student population, due to the presence of the local Teachers’ College.  Du Toit says the town’s sectional title market is dominated by student accommodation, with parents renting properties for their student children.  The town is still largely dependent on the wine industry for economic activity, but also has a swiftly-growing tourism sector, and is growing in popularity as a wedding and function destination.  “This provides impetus to the local hospitality sector,” says PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg regions, Annien Borg, “as many guest-houses and B&B’s are full nearly every weekend with wedding guests, or with outdoor enthusiasts drawn to the fabulous running and cycling routes in the area.”

Secure lifestyle estates are still fairly rare in Wellington, but those that have been developed are extremely popular.  PGP is currently marketing the second phase of Diemersfontein’s new residential development, “The Village”, which will ultimately consist of just over 110 homes.  Borg says the 19 erven in Phase One have already been sold out, to a total value of around R20 million.  Phase Two will offer 31 units, 11 of which have already been sold to a total value of R13.6 million.  The properties still available for sale are priced from R835 000 to R1.47 million, inclusive of VAT and transfer costs.

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