RE/MAX Suburb Trend Report – Franschhoek

Area history

As one of the oldest towns in the country, Franschhoek in the Western Cape is situated approximately 45 minutes from the Cape Town city centre. Located in what could be described as one of the most beautiful wine valleys in the country, the area was originally known Olifantshoek, due to the large numbers of elephant that roamed the region.

In 1688 the first settlers arrived in the area, a community of around 176 French Huguenot refugees who were granted the land by the Dutch government of the Cape. The Huguenots called the land le Coin Francais, meaning the French corner. This was later changed to Franschhoek, the Dutch version of the same meaning. Many of the settlers named their farms after the areas they came from in France, some of which are still around today. Much of the original Cape Dutch architecture in Franchhoek has been preserved due to restrictions placed on the extent of renovation and new construction allowed in the area. 

Paying homage to its French roots, Franschhoek has become synonymous with fine wine and world class cuisine. Eight of the country’s top 100 restaurants are located in the area, not to mention the 30 wine cellars. A Cap Classique route has also been recently launched in the area featuring nine cellars within a 4km distance of each other.  

Area property information

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that as with most regions in the country, the largest demographic of buyers in Franschhoek are those aged between 36 and 49 years old. He notes that these buyers account for approximately 40% of the recent buying activity in the area. The largest group of sellers were much older with around half of the recent sellers aged 65 years or older.

According to Lightstone, property in Franschhoek consists of 57.53% freestanding homes, 36.78% estates and 5.69% sectional title units. Goslett says that the average price of property here grew steadily from 2004 reaching a peak in 2009 of R3.337 million for a freestanding home and R1.259 million for a sectional title unit. Prices then dropped in 2010 with a freestanding home costing around R2.568 million and a sectional title unit around R1.138 million. Since 2010, the average price of a freestanding home has once again gained momentum and has continued on an upward trend reaching its current price of R3.131 million. He notes that approximately 57% of estates sold in the area between April 2012 and March 2013 were priced from R800 000 to R1.5 million. Within the same period around 14.3% of estates sold for between R1.5 million and R3 million, while 7.1% sold for R3 million or more bringing up the current average price to R1.611 million.

Goslett says that sales transactions in Franschhoek peaked at 151 properties sold during 2007, the year widely regarded as the apex of the boom period. The number of transactions has dropped off since then, with an average around 50 properties sold in the area per year from 2009 up until this year.

Property price trends

Demand for property

According to Goslett the most popular properties sold in the area between June 2012 and May 2013 were those priced between R1.5 million and R3 million. These properties accounted for 42.9% of all the properties sold during this period. Around 30.4% of properties sold within the same time frame were priced for R3 million or more, while those priced from R800 000 to R1.5 million accounted for 17.9%.

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