Wellington’s real estate star is on the rise

Paarl and Stellenbosch have traditionally enjoyed the limelight in the Winelands, with Wellington often overlooked by both home buyers and developers, but this is now changing and there has been considerable market activity in the scenic town, especially during the past two years.

Chris Cilliers, CEO and Co-Principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Winelands, says: “Last year the median house price shot up from R1 million to R1.5m and this year, despite Covid-19, the sale price has increased again to R1.55m with sectional title median prices also increasing in 2020, from R680 000 to R778 000.

“What has been equally encouraging is the number of sales recorded during this difficult year, with Lightstone data revealing that 189 freehold homes and 40 sectional title units had already been registered by the end of October.

“With freehold by far the biggest sellers, 68 houses and 47 freehold estate homes were sold during the last three months (ending 31 October) alone, with most of the sales being in Wellington North, which has been enjoying considerable investor attention of late.”

Eddie van Pachtenbeke, Area Specialist for the group, says that homes priced below R2m are in high demand, especially with so many first-time buyers taking advantage of record low interest rates but adds that there is also movement in the higher price bands.

“Diemersfontein, which offers a secure country lifestyle in a beautiful setting, is very appealing to buyers across the board, from families to retirees, as residents can enjoy a host of outdoor pursuits within the estate, from hiking and biking to fishing and bird-watching.

According to Fellow Area Specialist, Jackie Sollberger, two suburbs have begun to attract considerable buyer interest.

“Ranzadale is becoming very popular with first-time buyers and young families because of its accessible pricing compared to areas like Nuwe Uitsig and its close proximity to schools.

“And Berg en Dal’s drawcards are the spectacular views and the level of security afforded by a very active neighbourhood watch and the limited access of their being only one entrance/exit to the area which makes it easier to monitor.

“There has also been notable new residential estate development in recent years, including Lady Blake, La Petite, Aan de Hawequas, Volendam and Verdeau, and some of the existing estates have also launched new phases.”

She adds that most of the current sellers are retirees looking to downscale from large family homes to smaller, lower maintenance properties or to move to nearby coastal towns, often on the West Coast.

With 71% of new buyers being under the age of 50, and 33% of those being 35 or younger, it’s definitely a growing town which bodes well for the future of the region, says Cilliers.

“Wellington’s central location makes it perfectly situated for easy access to Cape Town’s northern suburbs and growing commercial nodes as well as to neighbouring Paarl, Stellenbosch, Malmesbury and Worcester, with many people commuting daily for work and school.

“Another major drawcard for families is that Wellington is home to several excellent primary and secondary schools and is only a short distance from Stellenbosch University.”

Sollberger, a Wellington resident herself, says: “We live in an active community where sports, outdoor and nature-related activities are very popular.

“Golfers are spoilt for choice with several excellent courses in the area and there are loads of family-friendly activities for those who enjoy outdoor living, including scenic hiking and mountain biking trails, beautiful wine estates, numerous sporting facilities and picturesque fishing, picnic and braai spots.”

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