Former vineyards now home to happy families

The suburb of Oude Westhof, located in the heart of the Durbanville Winelands, is fast approaching maturity. 

The local Homeowners’ Association reports that almost all of the 600 residential erven are now developed, and Pam Golding Properties (PGP) says the resulting homes are some of the most sought-after in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, with a range of property types and prices to suit several different categories of buyers.

Oude Westhof was developed in the late 1990’s on a wine farm owned by the Malan family, one of the oldest in the Northern Suburbs. Former vineyards made way for a mix of secure villages, family homes and sprawling gentleman’s estates, while the original farmhouse (circa 1886) was converted into a popular restaurant and wedding venue.  There are just a handful of vacant erven still available for purchase.

The suburb is home to a combination of affluent families and executives, young professionals and mature home-owners.  PGP agents Gene van der Berg and Paige Ward say this mixed home-owner profile is due to the variety of homes on offer.  “Younger couples and professionals are attracted to the numerous secure estates in the area, most of them offering compact homes on small erven which provide an easy-to-manage, lock-up-and-go lifestyle,” they say. “These are typically priced from R1.8 million to the late R2 millions, and also appeal to business commuters and older couples who are downscaling after their families have left home.”

The suburb also offers a good selection of larger homes on plots of around 800sqm, which are very popular with families, especially due to their zoning for excellent schools such as Kenridge and Welgemoed Primary Schools.  These homes tend to be priced between R3 million and R5 million.  At the top end of the market, there are several gentleman’s estates set on indivisible erven of 3000sqm, which typically back onto the adjacent nature reserve.  These boast some of the most magnificent luxury homes in the area, many of them only built over the past few years.  Prices in this category can range from R6 million to R10 million.  The agents add that the few remaining vacant erven are priced at around R1 million for 800sqm or R2 million for 3000sqm. 

Over the past year (May 2012 to April 2013) a total of 19 homes have changed hands in the suburb, predominantly townhouses. The average sale price was R2.467 million (across all agencies – source CMA Info).

PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg regions (incorporating the Northern Suburbs) Annien Borg, says the suburb’s appeal is based on a number of factors, including its scenic location at the foot of the Durbanville Hills, which affords many properties sweeping views over the city and the local vineyards.  “This is also an ideal location for those who love outdoor activities, from the lovely nature reserve to numerous walking, horse-riding and mountain-bike trails in the Majik Forest greenbelt,” she says.  “There are plentiful sports facilities nearby including a golf course, gyms and tennis clubs, while for those who prefer to stay indoors there are wonderful restaurants and markets on several of the local wine farms.  The suburb also offers proximity to both TygerValley and Willowbridge Malls as well as the smaller Van Riebeeckshof Mall, and is close to good schools and private medical care.  It is an ideal location for those working in the Bellville business hub – a number of top companies have their headquarters nearby, including the likes of Sanlam and The Foschini Group.  It is quite accessible to the N1 highway and Cape Town International Airport, and is surrounded by established affluent suburbs, meaning that property values will not be negatively affected by unchecked development in the area.”

Among the homes currently for sale in Oude Westhof, exclusively through PGP, is an elegant family home on 3000sqm, bordering on the nature reserve.  The property has good elevation, giving it uninterrupted views of the Boland mountains.  The north-facing home has around 1000sqm of living space, including four en-suite bedrooms and six spacious inter-leading reception rooms.  A large indoor recreation area includes a heated swimming pool that can be enjoyed in any weather, while the gently terraced garden has ample room for a family to enjoy.  Other features of the home include four automated garages, a wine cellar and staff accommodation, as well as a large eat-in kitchen.  The property is on the market at R9.5 million.

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