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How much is costs to live in South Africa’s ‘town of the year’

Category Property

The Sunshine Coast (Eastern Cape) towns and villages are a haven for holiday and retirement buyers and with Jeffreys Bay named as the popular Kwela Town of the Year title, Gerrie Nieuwenhuis, Seeff’s licensee for the area, says a rediscovery of these beach lifestyle markets is overdue when you look at what is on offer.

The picturesque resort towns of Jeffreys Bay, St Francis Bay, Kenton on Sea and Port Alfred offer some of the best value in the country.

The latest FNB Holiday Towns House Price Index shows this sector enjoyed marginally better average house price growth of 7.5% in the first quarter (vs 6.7% in Q4:2017), but Seeff’s licensees point out that the Eastern Cape growth has been slower .

It said that there is still an influx of semigration to the areas and holiday home buying has increased mildly. A big part of the market, is retirement and Deeds Office data shows that 70% of buyers are over fifty and most have lived here for ten years and longer.

The area is accessible by road or air as you can fly into either George or Port Elizabeth and drive to Jeffreys Bay, said Nieuwenhuis.

The town is home to about 20,500 adults and is a water sport and adventure paradise and there is also a 9-hole golf course.

The property market has remained steady since 2014 with 788 transactions worth over R688 million recorded for the year to end May. It is still mostly a buyer’s market and the banks are still tight on lending for the second home market, said Nieuwenhuis.

There is a shortage of rental stock, but as it is a low income area, rates are always under pressure.

Apart from sectional title and freehold property, there are also retirement villages to choose from. Apartments start at R500,000-R3 million for a great position and sea views while townhouses and houses start at around R1 million. Luxury homes range to R10 million.

Wavecrest offers sea view houses from R1.2 million-R3 million and at Marina Martinique, a waterfront development, you can find houses overlooking the canals for R2.8 million-R5 million and at Paradise Beach, from R900,000-R5.5 million for modern home opposite the beach.

A little further south, lies St Francis Bay which, according to Desireé Ferreira, Seeff’s licensee for the area, is fast becoming a playground for the rich and famous.

The market has remained steady since 2016 with 202 transactions worth just under R325 million recorded for the 12 months to end May 2018.

The bay includes Port St Francis, St Francis Bay, Cape St Francis and Oyster Bay. Fronted by the beautiful coastline and lying on the estuary of the Kromme River, the area is characterised by man-made canals and waterways with stunning waterfront homes along with luxury beach and golf estate houses. It is now regarded as a luxury second home area with prices reaching R25 million.

There are two golf courses, St Francis Bay Golf Course and the St Francis Links golf estate with its Jack Nicklaus-designed links course which ranks in the top ten countrywide. Set on rolling dunes, the estate offers mountain and sea views, a clubhouse with a restaurant, bar and pro shop and a selection of homes priced from R1.7 million-R9 million.

Waterfront homes in the area range from R5 million-R25 million, but you can find apartments overlooking the Port St Francis harbour or the Canals from R850,000. Houses range from about R1 million-R2.6 million on average, Seeff said.

Kenton on Sea and Port Alfred lie about midway between PE and East London and both are popular holiday and retirement villages according to Simon Oliver, Seeff’s licensee for the areas.

While the Port Alfred market slowed last year to 234 transactions worth just under R207 million for the twelve months to end May, Kenton enjoyed a pick up since 2016 with 86 transactions worth just over R99 million recorded for the year to end May.

Kenton is flanked by two rivers (Bushmans and Kariega) and Port Alfred by the Kowie River with the Royal Alfred Marina being a popular waterfront development.

Kenton is home to about 8,000 adults and Port Alfred to 19,700. As the bigger town, it offers excellent facilities including two hospitals, schools, shopping centres, two golf courses and a host of other leisure activities including tennis and bowls.

Near Kenton, you will find a number of malaria free game reserves such as Kariega, Sibuya, Shamwari and Lalibela, all well stocked with game, some of which boast the Big Five, said Oliver.

Prices in Kenton range from around R1.5 million-R2.5 million on average, but luxury riverfront homes range to R10 million. Port Alfred prices start at R500,000 for apartments and townhouses and around R800,000 for a small house. Luxury houses range from R2.5 million-R5.5 million and to about R12 million in the Marina.

Author: Staff Writer

Submitted 02 Aug 18 / Views 2144