RE/MAX Suburb Trend Report – Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape

Area history

Built on a hillside sloping towards the sea, the town of Plettenberg Bay is located almost on the border of the Western and Eastern Cape. Originally named Bahia Formosa, which means beautiful bay, the town has a very long history considering that Portugese explorers regularly visited the area and charted the bay during the 15th and 16th centuries. This was long before Jan van Riebeeck landed in the Cape. The first European inhabitants in Plettenberg Bay were the 100 Portuguese sailors that were marooned when their ship, the San Gonzales, sank in 1630. The remains of the shipwreck can still be seen in the town to this day.

5 Bedroom House for sale in Bowtie, Plettenberg Bay

During the 1700s further inhabitants arrived in the area who worked as stock farmers, hunters and frontiersmen from the Western Cape. These settlers left behind some interesting historical relics, such as the Old Rectory, which was built in 1776 as a barracks by the Dutch East India Trading Company. Joachim van Plettenberg, the Governor of the Cape, renamed the town after himself in 1779. The barracks was bought by St Peters Church in 1869 and used as a rectory for the 70 years that followed.

Today Plettenberg Bay has gained the reputation as an ideal holiday spot with a wide variety of leisure activities on offer. Holiday-makers and residents can enjoy yachting at the Keurbooms River marina, polo at Kurland, canoeing, abseiling, charter boat cruises or just going to beach. The town also boasts a number of fine restaurants, eateries and cafés among other amenities.

Area property information

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that over the years, the holiday lifestyle offering has been the main driver pushing demand for property in Plettenberg Bay. He notes that unlike many other regions across the country, sales volumes in the area remained high after 2007, considered to be the peak of the boom. He notes that the number of sales transactions grew each year until it peaked in 2010 with around 122 properties sold that year. Although sales number saw a decrease in 2011 for the first time, they are once again on the increase.

4 Bedroom house for sale in Whale Rock, Plettenberg Bay

Goslett says that another interesting fact about the Plettenberg Bay property market is that the largest percentage of recent buyers in the area are from the 50 to 64 year old age category (39.39%), followed by those buyers 65 years and older (24.24%). He notes that over 42% of recent sellers were also in the 50 to 64 year old age group.

According to Lightstone, property in Plettenberg Bay consists of 53.86% sectional title units, 30.36% freestanding homes and 15.78% estates. Goslett says that from 2005 to 2008 the average price of a freestanding home saw massive growth, skyrocketing from R747 000 to R2 099 000 in just four years. However, he notes that in 2009 the price saw a dramatic drop to around R1 095 000, dropping again to just R119 000 in 2010. Although the average price of a freestanding property was remarkably low in 2010, the average price of a sectional title unit was around R701 000, increasing to R738 000 in 2011. Freestanding home prices rebounded in 2011 finishing in 2012 at around R2 258 000.

Property price trends

Demand for property

According to Goslett approximately 55% of homes sold in Plettenberg Bay between August 2012 and July 2013 were those priced between R400 000 and R800 000.  Around 22.7% were priced between R800 000 and R1.5 million, while properties that fell within the R1.5 million to R3 million, as well as those priced above R3 million each represented 9.1% of the area’s sales. He notes that properties that were sold during this period for below R400 000 represented just 4.5% of the market.

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