Myoli Beach at Sedgefield proving a new hotspot

The slower pace in Sedgefield on the scenic Garden Route is proving highly appealing to a younger generation of visitors and home buyers, says Walter Bakker, marketing manager for Pam Golding Properties Sedgefield office, who says the latest hotspot for sunbathing and beach activities must surely be Myoli beach.

“Having last year (2011) been recognised with international Cittaslow (Slowtown) status, Sedgefield is definitely attracting a broader cross-section of people both as holiday visitors and those seeking a more permanent, quality way of life.

“A fast-paced holiday destination may have appeal for many in the younger set, however we are drawing those who prefer a more tranquil location without overcrowding – close enough to amenities to be able to enjoy a dinner in nearby Knysna or a shopping spree and movies at the Garden Route Mall in George. Last summer we saw a younger crowd visit the town, including young families, singles and action seekers in search of sun sports and a variety of activities including kite surfing, wake boarding and surfing, among others,” says Bakker.

“Sedgefield does not have plans for nightclubs or go-kart tracks, large malls or speedboats on the estuary, and there is still plenty of open space near Myoli Beach – a small suburb with the beach on one side and large protected vegetated dunes on the other, and Cola Beach – which is a conservancy. Besides the large vacant stands which can be acquired there are also sizeable tracts of protected land which ensure the area retains its unspoilt appeal.”

Bakker says Myoli Beach only came into being as a suburb in the late 90s and the prime located, seaside erven with magnificent views – particularly from the hilly, neighbouring suburb of Cola Beach, were snapped up by locals and foreigners alike. Time has moved on and with the worldwide economic slump, some who intended building their dream holiday cottages, mansions or retirement homes have had to reconsider their plans. As a result, there are currently some exceptional stands and homes available at prices last seen 10 years ago.

“Sedgefield, the slow heart of the Garden Route, is being discovered by astute investors and holiday makers as a beautiful location and yet, it has all the action activities they seek. Besides the beach sports, which include a sandy volleyball court, there is mountain biking, horse riding, paragliding and canoeing on the Swartvlei estuary which winds through the middle of town to the river mouth. A popular haunt is the beach bar on Myoli Beach while the local lodge’s rooftop which has a pizza oven and serves lighter foods in season, has become a favourite sundowner spot.”

Visitors to Myoli Beach travel from all over the country, with the locals from nearby areas prevalent throughout the year, while the peak holiday seasons attract visitors particularly from Cape Town and Gauteng. Naturally, being a Cittaslow town, Sedgefield hosts its own Slow Festival, held each year over the Easter holiday period.

Bakker says there are currently some prime properties available which offer sound value for money.  “Looking at Myoli Beach and Cola Beach and the building activities in these suburbs over the past year there is visible evidence of these attractive Garden Route locations being discovered, and offering sound investment potential.”

A small apartment block, minutes’ walk to the beaches and comprising a two bedroom, two bathroom unit as well as a one bedroom unit with en suite bathroom - on a large stand of 1490sqm, is marketed at R2.187 million. Says Bakker: “It is noteworthy that approval has been granted to develop two more blocks of two units each on this erf, behind the front block. With the current shortage of rental properties in Sedgefield in general, and Cola and Myoli Beaches in particular, this offers the investor an opportunity for sound rental income.  We are finding that the demand for long term rentals is mostly from those who are retired or families where the breadwinner works in a major centre such as Johannesburg and commutes weekly - or works in Knysna or George, or even from home. Those seeking holiday rentals tend to be mainly from the inland provinces, the bulk being from Gauteng.”

He says another property which is arguably the best buy in town right now is an 850sqm stand with sea and mountain views, priced at R550 000 and just a five minute stroll to pristine Cola Beach, adjacent to the Goukamma Marine Reserve and a 10 minute walk to Myoli Beach and all its activities.

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