Weekend and commuter buyers keep Overstrand property market upbeat

While demand for weekend and holiday homes remain steady in the smaller coastal villages of the Overstrand-stretch of the Whale Coast, Seeff Overstrand licensee, John du Toit says that resident populations are increasing.

More people, not only from the greater Cape metropolitan area, but also from upcountry areas are increasingly migrating to these unspoilt, low-crime and tranquil villages.

The villages that include Rooi Els, Pringle Bay, Kleinmond and Betty's Bay have the unique status of being situated in the UNESCO Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and are located only an hour's drive from the city and airport and less than half an hour's drive from Somerset West, Strand, Gordon's Bay and Hermanus. The area is favoured by retirees, but artists and professionals, especially those in the service industry such as IT support, web designers and writers are now heading to these villages where they have full internet and communication connectivity, yet can live away from the stress of the cities.

In Betty's Bay for example, he says that the number of permanent residents has grown from just over 360 in 2001 to over 2,000, but this swells to around 10,000 during the tourists months. Many buyers are snapping up some of the smaller, older homes at exceptional prices for a coastal location and either renovate or re-build stunning coastal homes, valued significantly higher. Demand and sales in the village are showing an upward trend over the past two years. In 2010, only 83 units sold while this increased by about 13 percent to 94 units sold during the past year as a result of relocations and some renewed interest in holiday homes here, says du Toit. While the majority of properties sold below R1,5 million, he says that about 10% of properties sold above this mark.

Besides the magnificent mountainous backdrop, unspoilt fynbos surroundings and sandy white beaches buyers are drawn to the clear, unpolluted skies, little traffic, no large shopping centres or industrialisation and the absence of urban stressors say agents Pat Parkes and Colin Michelson. The village also boasts unique wildlife that includes a penguin colony at Stoney Point, one of only four mainland colonies in the country. The area is also home to diverse bird life, the Cape mongoose, Tortoises and even small buck not to mention that it is renowned as the best whale watching spot in the region. Other attractions include hiking, mountain biking, surfing, swimming, crayfishing or just relaxing in the tranquil surroundings.

Betty's Bay offers a selection of properties to suit just about any buyer's pocket, say the agents. There are still a number of vacant plots on offer from as little as R300,000 for a 1271sqm mountainside plot, while a 1620sqm sea-view plot sells for around R890,000. Small, three bedroomed holiday cottages currently sell for around R845,000, but a beach-front location costs considerably more, up to around R3,25 million. At the top end, buyers can expect to pay up to R6,9 million for a 430sqm architectural home on a 1157sqm beach-front plot set against the mountain.

Designed by Architect, Gregg Goddard, to optimize its unique position between ocean and mountains and located in a sheltered part of the village, the home illustrates the stunning homes that are starting to appear here, say the agents.  The downstairs entrance hall has one wall of natural stone and the other double volume panelled glass that overlooks the sea. The home offers two separate living areas, one with two bedrooms and a bathroom, the other with two bedrooms, a bathroom and a lounge. The large living areas are located on the upper level and open onto a deck that faces the sea. The northern wall has strategically placed high level windows that provide views of the fynbos covered mountain behind. The master bedroom suite has high ceilings with floor to ceiling windows to exploit the views and an en-suite bathroom also with large windows for the views and a large private patio. The property includes garaging for three vehicles.

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