Blue flag beach homes

The recent awarding of Blue Flag status to no fewer than 14 Western Cape beaches is a clear indicator of the value of the province’s coastal property.

So says Laurie Wener, MD of Pam Golding Properties’ Western Cape metro region.

Run by an independent non-profit organisation based in Denmark, the international Blue Flag programme recognises beaches for their levels of safety, cleanliness, water quality and environmental management. Seven beaches in Cape Town alone received the prestigious eco-label.

SA coastal property offers superb value

"Around the world, prime beachfront property comes at a premium," says Wener. "And in South Africa it is no different. The Western Cape in particular is home to some of the most scenic locations in the country and, indeed, the world. Yet when one compares our prices to those in similar locations overseas, it is clear that our coastal property also offers superb value for money.

"This international recognition of the quality of our beaches only reinforces the value of these properties and their global appeal. We are very lucky that in the Cape metro area, these beaches are easily accessible and offer numerous different lifestyle options for buyers seeking beachfront homes."

Among the local beaches awarded Blue Flag status were two on the Atlantic Seaboard — Clifton Fourth Beach and Camps Bay. The latter is enduringly popular with a wide range of buyers, as it offers everything from compact apartments and townhouse complexes to larger family homes. The location between mountain and sea, the close proximity to leading government and private schools and the easy commute into the CBD make it a sought-after home for businesspeople, families and young professionals who enjoy the cosmopolitan vibe of its beachfront strip.

Clifton prices can exceed R40-million

Clifton Fourth attracts a smaller, more exclusive market, says PGP’s area manager for the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl, Basil Moraitis. "There are only about 100 beachfront bungalows in the Clifton area," he says, "and these are particularly popular with our international buyers as well as local captains of industry. Bungalows rarely come onto the market and offer a totally unique beachfront lifestyle, some with the added bonus of a north-facing aspect, which is very rare in this area. Prices start at around R12-million and can exceed R40-million for a new home.

"There are very strict regulations on these dwellings, leaving little leeway to change their size or layout. This means that owners’ views and privacy are secured for the long term.

"Besides the restrictions on structural changes, there are also ownership regulations — for example, bungalows are not permitted to be purchased by companies or trusts. The end result is that the unique character and identity of these homes is being preserved and this is a major draw-card for international buyers who have seen other global beachfront communities ruined by rampant unchecked development."

Most popular for swimming

On the Cape South Peninsula, Muizenberg beach was again awarded Blue Flag status this year.

The beach is one of the city’s most popular for swimming and surfing, with the surrounding village offering an eclectic mix of historic homes, national monuments and modern developments.

Says PGP’s area manager for the South Peninsula, Sandi Gildenhuys: "Muizenberg offers a charming village atmosphere and idyllic coastal lifestyle that is both affordable and conveniently located close to major amenities and work opportunities. Apartments situated close to the beach can still be obtained for as little as R550 000, while one can buy a larger family home from R1.2-million. Larger modern homes can be bought at a higher price tag, while those situated on the mountain slopes with ocean views tend to be priced in excess of R2.2-million with the signature grand homes of the suburb well in excess of R5-million.

Popular amongst water sports enthusiasts

A newcomer to the Blue Flag list this year is Big Bay, Bloubergstrand.

PGP’s area manager for the Table View area, Michelle Lister, says Bloubergstrand proper is one of the most exclusive and sought-after suburbs on the Western Seaboard and offers some spectacular homes right on the beachfront. "These properties provide an enviable beachfront lifestyle that is particularly sought after by water sports enthusiasts," she says, "while foreign buyers in particular seek out homes offering the picture-postcard view of Table Mountain.

"Big Bay offers extremely competitive pricing when compared to other beachfront suburbs in Cape Town. The highest demand at present is in the price range from R2.5-million to R4.5-million."

Yzerfontein, further up the West Coast, was another newcomer to the Blue Flag list this year.

Prime surfing and fishing spots

The famous '16 Mile Beach' offers a spectacular stretch of white sand with prime surfing waves and fishing spots. The village is increasingly being discovered by Capetonians seeking a weekend getaway, or even those wishing to live there permanently and either work from home or commute into the city, just 87 kilometres away.

Luxury homes on the beachfront are priced from R4.7-million to around R7-million. The nearby Pearl Bay development also offers spectacular beachfront homes and PGP recently sold a four-bedroom beachfront holiday home there for R4.2-million to Capetonian buyers.

Wener adds that there is growing awareness worldwide of the potential threat of global warming on coastal areas, including rising sea levels. "This may result in higher insurance premiums for beachfront homes in future," she says, "and buyers of these properties need to be aware of the long-term implications as well as any attendant restrictions on building within certain distances of the waterline. That being said, South Africa is not as highly at risk of coastal flooding as other countries as we are not subject to the frequent cyclone or monsoon seasons which one sees, for example, in South-East Asia or the Gulf of Mexico."

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