Pretty Heidelberg draws tourists, lifestyle buyers
Heidelberg in the Western Cape is widely regarded as the western gateway to the Garden Route and is benefiting from increasing numbers of tourists and homebuyers who attracted by the slower pace of this country town and are finding good property value here.

Derek Jones of the local Homenet estate agency notes that Heidelberg is a mere 35km from Witsand, famous for its whale sightings, and an easy day trip away from Stilbaai.

“Increasing numbers of tourists are also electing to make Heidelberg their home base for day trips to the many other attractions in the area, and this has led to a proliferation of bed and breakfast undertakings with most stablishments offering affordable rates of between R170 to R250 per person per night.”

Meanwhile the town’s charms are also attracting lifestyle buyers. “Heidelberg is a small farming town with little commercial and no industrial development – and crime is virtually non-existent.

“Situated in the middle of wheat and canola fields, it has about 8000 residents, an English as well as an Afrikaans school, churches of most denominations, a golf club, a small supermarket and banking facilities – but no traffic lights.

“And the lifestyle here has caught the eye of professional people who consult or work on contracts overseas and who want to settle their families in a safe environment. Traditionally a predominantly Afrikaans community, the demographics have now become distinctly cosmopolitan thanks to international buyers, mainly from Europe.”

Jones says there is very little new residential development in the town and that most homes and cottages date from the Victorian era with a good sprinkling of Cape Dutch architecture. Small 80sqm cottages are still available at prices from about R500 000. Top of the range properties, for instance a five- or six-bedroom home with three bathrooms on a 1500sqm stand, cost up to R1,5m.

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