Coastal property prices still rising faster than inland areas

Coastal property markets continue to perform better compared to inland areas, according to the Seeff Property Group.

Samuel Seeff, chairperson of the Seeff Property Group, says our sales data shows that prices paid in the coastal regions remain among the highest in the country.

The latest Lightstone House Price Index shows that prices are rising faster in coastal areas compared to elsewhere in the country. Prices in the Cape, for example, are still rising at 4.79% on average. Coastal areas also boast the lowest rental vacancies.

A Rode Property Report notes that only 2.3% of flats in the Western Cape were vacant in the first quarter of this year. The average for Cape Town is 2.5%, and 0% for George. Comparatively, Gauteng vacancies rose to 9.3%.

Semigration remains a key contributor to the property market in coastal areas. Lightstone recently noted that the highest influx of new residents last year were to coastal towns in the Garden Route, such as Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, and Plettenberg Bay, as well as Hermanus on the south coast and Langebaan on the West Coast.

Mossel Bay has been a great property success story with some of the highest volume of semigration buyers. Kaaiman Schutte, a licensee for Seeff Mossel Bay, says the town offers a fantastic lifestyle, close proximity to George, and affordable property.

Although the market has slowed from the 2021/2 peak, transactions in 2023 were still well ahead of the pre-pandemic period despite the higher interest rate. The average price for freehold property is R1.9m, sectional title is R1.4m, and estates are R4m.

Pieter Jordaan, a licensee for Seeff George, says families migrate here especially for a better-quality lifestyle. Market transactions here were also still notably higher in 2023. Aside from families, older buyers also love the George area, which is renowned for its golfing.

As the main city in the Garden Route, George offers an airport and city benefits, including great schools, but little in the way of traffic and stress. Correctly priced property below R2.5m still sells quite quickly, often within days of listing. Estates are popular, with some now priced upwards of R5m. Popular alternatives include Blue Mountain Village, priced from R3m, and Kraaibosch, priced from R4m.

Plettenberg Bay is another success story. Over the last few years, high-net-worth buyers have flocked here, and the town has achieved some of the highest prices in the country (outside of the Atlantic Seaboard). According to Alet Ollemans, licensee for Seeff Plettenberg Bay, there has been a notable uptick in prices paid above R10m, mostly in Sea Side Longships and estates such as Brackenridge, Whale Rock Ridge, Whale Rock Beach, and Turtle Creek Golf Estate.

She says it’s mostly older buyers, even those in their fifties, who are streaming here for the quality lifestyle and excellent climate. Plett is also a popular tourist town and is packed and fully booked over school holidays and long weekends. The current freehold price is R3.7m and R2.6m for sectional titles.

Knysna property prices have also seen tremendous growth over the last few years. The average freehold price rose by 75% from R2m in 2021 to R3.5m last year. The sectional title price is up by 30% from R1.15m to R1.5m.

A notable number of sales have been concluded above R5m, mostly in the waterfront areas such as Thesen Island, Benton on Lake, Belvidere Estate, The Heads, Leisure Isle, as well as in the Simola and Pezula estates.

Alan Phillips, regional manager for Seeff Eastern Cape says Gqeberha is also seeing an influx of buyers, mainly those with roots in the city who are coming back to retire here. Despite steady price growth, affordability remains a major advantage for property buyers.

A coastal apartment in Summerstrand, for example, sells for around R1.5m on average, although luxury units can go as high as R5m. Sectional title property in Lorraine and Walmer is priced around R1m on average, and houses at R1.7m and R3m, respectively. Wedgewood Golf Estate offers excellent value, with vacant stands selling for R230,000 on average, and you can build your dream home on a championship golf course.

Hermanus is arguably one of the most popular holiday towns for its proximity to Cape Town, whale watching, and fabulous wineries. It has seen an influx of wealthy buyers and excellent price appreciation. Sectional title prices are up from R1.1m five years ago to R1.85m, and house prices range from R1.7m to R2.5m on average.

The volume of transactions above R5m has climbed notably over the last few years. Despite a slower market, the last year still saw a notable number of sales of over R10m and over R20m, mostly in Voëlklip.

Langebaan, a 90-minute drive from Cape Town, is a popular weekend and holiday town which has seen an increase in permanent residents over the last few years as people look to escape the increasingly busy city.

Despite the market slow-down, 2023 was another exceptional year with a notable volume of sales above R5m, mostly in Myburgh Park and estates such as Calypso Beach, Longacres, Paradise Beach, and Langebaan Country Estate.

Jaco and Tracey-lee Coetzee, agents with Seeff Langebaan who concluded sales of up to R6.9m, R8.25m, and R8.8m in Calypso Beach, say that most were to local buyers. The R6.9m sale in Calypso Beach was, however, for a holiday home bought by an SA Expat living in Canada.


Writer: Gina Meintjes

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