Whilst the property landscape in most Cape Town suburbs has changed significantly, with the proliferation of multi-dwelling and sectional title complexes and commercial growth, the semi-rural enclave of Zwaanswyk has retained its original charm and become one of the city’s most desirable areas.
What used to be ‘Cape Town’s Best Kept Secret’, it is now actively being sought out by a growing number of discerning buyers who are attracted by the suburbs scenic surrounds, large properties which often stretch to equestrian, the tranquil lifestyle and secure environment.
Dawn Bloch, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says: “Zwaanswyk offers the best of both worlds – rural tranquillity as well as convenient proximity to world-class amenities. Most stands measure an acre or more with large homes and, often, a second dwelling which allows owners to provide dual living for family members or run a small business from home.
“It is one of the few remaining areas in close proximity to the city which still offers equestrian estate-sized erven on which residents can stable their horses, ride safely in the area and enjoy an authentic country lifestyle.
“Zwaanswyk is also regarded as one of the safest areas in the Cape Peninsula Precinct. The enclave has only one entrance and exit point, is fully surrounded by an electric fence and has a dedicated security vehicle to which residents are linked by Whatsapp.
“The proactive Zwaanswyk Association of Property Owners (ZAPO) which was established in 2015 also keeps residents connected and informed and contributes exponentially to the suburb’s safety and security.”
Bloch adds that have remotes and keys which allow them to enter the reserve for horse riding and leisure activities such as mountain biking, hiking and bird- watching.
Most sought-after are plots, especially those with views or which are suitable for horses as well as value renovation properties, but these are now both becoming a very scarce commodity.
“There is very little greenfield land left for development and, although subdivision of larger erven to around 3 350m² is allowed, the formal process is lengthy and requires the services of a land surveyor as well as the consent of neighbours.
“The last development we are likely to see in the area, Steenberg Green, is currently under construction; a high-end offering with houses selling at R28.5 million.”
“The stock shortage is exacerbated by the fact that there are fewer than 130 homes in Zwaanswyk,” says Bloch, “and existing owners are very aware of the rising value of their increasingly sought-after properties and realise that it will not be easy to replace their current lifestyles should they move elsewhere.”
Bloch adds that as most Zwaanswyk residents would prefer to retain the rural atmosphere of the area and are not keen on sub-division or development, it’s very unlikely that we will see the gap between supply and demand closing any time soon.
That said, Bloch says that sectionalisation is becoming a popular and viable alternative to subdivision as the process doesn’t require neighbour consent and doesn’t dramatically alter the property landscape.
“Sectionalisation is permitted if there are two existing ‘roofs’ on one erven and ownership of one dwelling along with a portion of the land is then transferred by means of a sectional title agreement between the two parties to create ‘a’ and ‘b’ dwellings on the same erf number.”
Zwaanswyk’s exclusivity, inimitable lifestyle and the limited availability of property and vacant land continue to drive the resilient market.
“Plots now sell for between R8.5m and R9.8m, depending on position and views and, whilst it was previously possible to buy an older house from around R8.5m, houses now sell from around R10.8m, with the top end of the market having breached the R30m mark.”
She says that most of their recent buyer enquiries are from families relocating from other areas in South Africa, overseas 'swallows', parents with Children at Reddam, The International School and Waldorf, often relocating from Noordhoek or further afield in Cape Town as well as equestrian buyers.
“Residents have access have a wide selection of superb restaurants and top wine farms and outdoor enthusiasts are spoilt for choice with easy access to the False Bay beaches, several golf courses and myriad hiking, biking and horse-riding trails.
“The Tokai Medicross is right on their door step and several excellent shopping centres including The Steenberg Shopping Centre, The Blue Route Mall and Forest Glade House are only a short drive away.”