Residential property in Cape St Francis, a suburb of St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape and gateway to the Garden Route, is bucking the national trend and selling rapidly, says Richard Arderne, area principal for Pam Golding Properties.
"Properties here sell quickly - if reasonably priced - and this is one of the few areas that can still be considered a seller's market. Total market turnover for Cape St Francis doubled from R35 million in 2006 to over R80 million in 2007, and we are always seeking stock to cater for the demand," says Arderne.
A recent sales by the company of a 700sqm plot for R900 000 reflects a twenty-fold increase in value, from R45 000 12 years ago when the current seller, a Johannesburg family, purchased it in 1996. “This is a typical example of the steep escalation in value achieved - particularly recently -in what we refer to as the 'Clifton' of the Eastern Cape," says Arderne.
Front row properties have appreciated even further, facing as they do onto a world class beach. Recently numerous transactions have been concluded for front row properties - most of them vacant land or old cottages which have been or will be demolished. "Another interesting example of sound price appreciation is that of a front row cottage that sold for R370 000 in 1995 and again in 2005 for R3,25 million - only for the cottage to be demolished in 2007 and with a R5 million-plus, 500sqm house now under construction. This represents a total investment approaching R10 million for a holiday home."
The highest price paid for a home in Cape St Francis remains a R7,5 million luxury home. Also noteworthy is a beachfront plot recently sold in the marketplace for R5,15 million. However, further back from the sea, it is still possible to purchase plots, and even cottages, for below R1 million and within easy walking distance from the beach.