Local buyers show confidence in Arabella Country Estate

The buyer profile at the acclaimed Arabella Country Estate is shifting significantly towards a higher percentage of local buyers.  

So says Pam Golding Properties (PGP), whose Arabella office has reported an upturn in residential sales activity during the first half of 2012.  Launched in 1997, the estate is located on the shores of the Bot River Lagoon, just under one and a half hours’ drive from Cape Town.  It incorporates just over 240 residential erven, as well as a hotel and spa.  The estate’s 18-hole Peter Matkovich golf course is regularly rated one of the top five in the country.

PGP’s area manager Mike Bisset says in its early days, Arabella Country Estate was extremely popular with international buyers, and approximately 50 percent of all homes were owned by foreigners.  “There was perhaps a perception that the estate was out of reach of local buyers,” he says, “but that view is definitely changing, especially since the hotel and golf course were purchased in 2011 by the Hospitality Property Fund, which appointed Protea Hotels to manage the hotel complex.  The result has been a marked increase in occupancy rates and activity on the golf course, both of which have had a positive spin-off for property sales.  Guests come here to spend a few days at the hotel, and end up falling in love with the location and facilities.  We believe strongly that this has contributed to the increase in demand we have seen for property on the estate this year, especially from South African buyers.  In fact, of the 14 most recent sales on the estate, only three were to international buyers.”

Of the nine homes sold on the estate in the first half of 2012, six of the deals were concluded by PGP.  By comparison, just two homes changed hands (across all agencies) between January and June 2011.  Bisset says the PGP deals this year have spanned a variety of price ranges, from a compact two-bedroomed home sold in March 2012 for R1.88 million, to a spacious four-bedroomed home with magnificent views, sold in June 2012 for R3.85 million.  “By far the highest demand at present is for homes in the R3 million to R3.5 million range,” he says, “with buyers looking for good-sized family homes with lovely views and three or four bedrooms.  Pricing varies throughout the estate depending on location, views, size of erf and quality of finishes, but there is excellent value for money on offer, especially in this middle price range from R3 million to R4 million.  One can still obtain a two-bedroomed home on one of the smaller stands for under R2.5 million, and there are also a number of magnificent top-end homes on offer in the R4 million to R8 million price range.”

PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg regions, Annien Borg, says security is one of the estate’s biggest selling points, especially for family buyers.  “The secure environment allows children to ride their bicycles, roller-skate or run around in safety,” she says, “which is a lifestyle not many children are able to enjoy in the modern world. Residents have access to a range of facilities including two floodlit tennis courts, a children’s playground, putt-putt course and a network of walking paths.  There are ample opportunities for horse- riding and water-sports in the neighbourhood, as well as for bird-watching and just drinking in the magnificent surroundings.  Residents also have access to the hotel restaurants and spa, often at special rates, so they can enjoy the peace and tranquillity of a rural lifestyle, while still having access to sophistication and pampering, right on their own doorstep.”

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