The Cape West Coast: an idyllic leisure investment destination

The Cape West Coast is a region of contrast and beauty and is widely considered as an undiscovered gem with unspoilt beaches, mountain ranges and a rich geographical diversity. Stretching from Cape Town as far as the border with the Northern Cape at Touws River, the Cape West Coast comprises a series of quaint, historic towns and fishing villages.

In fact, St. Helena Bay for example, is unique in that it is one of only three places in the world where the sun rises and sets over the same ocean. This is where Vasco Da Gama first made land on the African continent and where more than 50% of South Africa’s fish is sourced from.

Justus and Rene Brandt, Broker/Owners of RE/MAX Sunset Coast, which services the areas from Paternoster through to Elands Bay inclusive of suburbs like Duyker Island, Cape St Martin private nature reserve, Britannia Bay and St Helena Bay, say that while they don’t expect fireworks in the property market over the short term, they expect that distressed sales will largely come to an end and that developers would have sold most of their stock in the next year or so. “Once this has come about and the oil exploration and industrial development in the area has gathered momentum, prices will most probably harden and the market will slowly swing towards a sellers market and the magic moment for buyers not having acted will be lost.”

As these areas largely consist of holiday homes and retirement properties, except for the employees of the fishing factories and related businesses, private business and professionals, sales are mainly to parties outside of these areas with a small percentage of local upgrades. The Brandt’s note that the buyer’s mix along the Cape West Coast is widespread, ranging from local retirees and business people to holiday makers and local and overseas investors.

“Prices,” they say, “vary from around R160 000 for vacant land to R2,8m for a beachfront stand in a golf estate. Vacant small holdings are available from R595 000, while recent house sales reflect selling prices from R575 000 for an entry-level two-bedroom dwelling to between R950 000 and R1,95m for a mid-level three-bedroom, double-story house. Small holdings typically sell between R1,8m and R2,2m while top level homes start at approximately R2,5m and range up to R10m.”

The Brandt’s say that while these areas are still under-recognised to a large extent, developers have seen the potential in developing Shelley Point Golf Estate, Golden Mile Britannia Bay, St. Helena Views in St Helena Bay, Port Owen in Velddrif, Atlantic Sands in Laaiplek and Kersbosstrand, to mention but a few of the larger developments. “Huge investment was done by developers based on feasibility studies and while current prices and terms are now geared to suit buyers; it will not remain so as the market recuperates and prices harden.”

Reasonable rental prices can also be achieved here, with RE/MAX Sunset Coast recently securing an outstanding rental for a beachfront home in excess of R18 000 per month for a 12 month lease. RE/MAX Sunset Coast currently has a range of properties on its books in these areas including within the Shelley Point Golf Estate, Sandy Point Beach Estate, St Helena Views, Sandpiper Village and Harbour Heights in St Helena Bay to Atlantic Sands in Laaiplek. Here prices vary from R175 000 to R1,5m for beachfront stands.

Most buyers look to having a sea view or a location close enough to the beach so as they may walk there. Some buyers prefer to purchase a vacant stand and have their house built, while beachfront homes are sought after in Britannia Bay, Shelley Point, Cape St Martin Private Nature Reserve and Hannasbaai where they are mostly upgraded by the new owners.

“There are many good opportunities and builders are currently prepared to build at very competitive prices,” they say. “Then you have the golfing fraternity who prefer to purchase, either a stand or a home, in Shelley Point Golf Estate where access is controlled and they have the course and a four-star Hotel with wellness spa and gym, fine dining restaurant , beauty salon and other facilities. The range of property options along the Cape West Coast is endless.”

Says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa: “Oil exploration off the West Coast has been given the green light and planning for further industrial development within the Saldanha Bay precinct is underway. This coupled with the upgrading of Shelley Point Golf Estate and the investment by property developers in St. Helena Bay and surrounds and the future plans for a Waterfront and small boat marina, signals future livening of the local property market. However, it is a matter of the early bird catching the worm, as property is a limited commodity, so you either buy it at the entry-level price or pay a premium if you first want to wait and see what is going to happen.”

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