A home for the holidays on the Garden Route

Sales transactions in the higher end of the property market – referring to properties priced between R2.5m and R5.5m - along the Garden Route are on the increase, while the rental side of the market is at an all-time high. 

Holiday home rentals are fully booked out for the festive season along the Garden Route, from Wilderness to Knysna. This is according to Chris van der Merwe, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Coastal which operates in the Knysna area and surrounds along the Garden Route.

“Holiday home sales on Thesen Islands have increased by at least 30% this year in comparison to last year’s statistics,” says van der Merwe. “In general, RE/MAX has increased its sales turnover along the Garden Route and in the Eastern Cape by 56% compared to last year.”
Talking about the holiday home buying trends in the area, van der Merwe points out that most buyers fall into two main categories: those who purchase homes priced between R800 000 and R1.5m who are usually retirement and first time buyers, and those who purchase property priced from R3m upwards, who are usually between the ages of 40 and 55 years old.
“Those who rent properties in the area for the holiday season usually spend between R2000 and R2500 per day on accommodation,” he says.
Talking about holiday hot spots in the area, van der Merwe says that Brenton-on-Sea and Buffalo Bay are very popular destinations for holidaymakers looking for short term rentals. “Holidaymakers in Brenton-on-Sea and Buffalo Bay want to be on the beach, so a holiday home with a sea-view or on the beach in these areas would be a good investment option.”
Van der Merwe says that homes on Thesen Islands are among the most popular choices for holiday makers, whether they want to rent or buy. 
Thesen Islands is a multi-award winning marina development located in the Knysna Estuary, and has recently been awarded Blue Flag status for the estate. Designed with close to 500 homes and 56 apartments, this marina estate spans over 90ha which is made up of 19 man-made islands that are linked by 21 bridges and surrounded by waterways.  Thesen Islands are linked by a causeway and bridge to the mainland, and is within walking distance of the Knysna waterfront, yacht harbour and town centre.
Homes on Thesen Islands mostly have their own jetty and large entertainment areas. Buyers are specifically looking for homes on this estate that are designed with at least four bedrooms. “Buyers here are attracted by the lifestyle and the security that it provides. It’s no wonder that property on Thesen Island has held its value through the recession.”
Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says that property within secure estates and those properties set within estates that provide good security, and therefore peace of mind, are generally sought-after and have a greater return on investment. “The evidence of this can be seen in the higher premiums paid for homes that offer these features, especially those which are ideally located to offer buyers a unique lifestyle” he says.
Corlia Goris, sales associate at RE/MAX Coastal who specialises in property on Thesen Islands, says that the most popular homes there are the ones selling between R4m and R6m.
Lightstone data indicates that close on 80% of property sold on Thesen Islands between December 2012 and November 2013 has been priced above R3m, with the average price sitting at just over R4.2m.
“Sales on Thesen Islands this year have shown a positive spike compared to 2012. Stock levels are also at a relatively low level, which means we should be seeing a steady value growth in the near future,” says Goris, who notes that buyers on Thesen Islands represent the whole spectrum from younger families with children to executives and retirees.
“The buyers here are mostly couples or families who appreciate the security and the lifestyle that properties within this estate offer,” she says. “The homes that are the most popular are the north-facing ones which are situated on the water or which have a jetty nearby.”
Van der Merwe says that there is no doubt that buyers who purchase a home on the much sought-after Thesen Islands at a market related price will definitely make a profit after a few years. “Two recent sales on Thesen Islands were for R11m and R18m, which shows the level of investor confidence in property here.”
RE/MAX Coastal currently has a rare opportunity for a buyer to purchase a Provencal-style home, which has been featured on Top Billing, within this exclusive estate. Designed with five bedrooms - all with en-suite bathrooms- and a pyjama lounge upstairs, this home has unsurpassed views over the Knysna Estuary. The home has a secluded front garden with a heated pool and a generous undercover patio with its own fireplace. Spacious open-plan living areas, a farm style kitchen and two lounges make up the entertainment areas. A private mooring has been allocated to this luxury home. Selling at R11.980m, the total floor area of this residence is 443m2.
For more information about property for sale or to rent on Thesen Islands, or to book an appointment to view this home, contact RE/MAX Coastal sales associates Corlia 083 441 1079 or Sue 082 573 3353. Alternatively contact RE/MAX Coastal on 044 382 5722 for any of your property requirements within Knysna and surrounds.

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