WORDS: DEBBIE HATHWAY :: IMAGES: SUPPLIED
These are the latest property hotspots if you are ready to exchange busy city streets for quiet country roads.
Small-town living offers many benefits, including shorter commutes, a simplified lifestyle, a deeper appreciation of life, a slower pace, and the luxury of living in more spacious surroundings.
Seeff highlights 10 sought-after towns and villages, most of which have experienced substantial price growth over the past decade, with home buyers recognising the value of investing in a higher quality of life. The most notable towns by average price include Franschhoek, Nottingham Road, St Francis Bay, Langebaan, Yzerfontein, Kenton on Sea, Hartbeespoort, Swellendam, Napier, and Ladismith.
Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands is known for its beautiful setting, prestigious wineries and cosmopolitan lifestyle. Property prices range from R4m to R8m, up to R100m+. Homes in Nottingham Road in the Natal Midlands can reach that price point too, but generally sell for about R3m to R9m. It is a sought-after weekend retreat and second-home haven. Renowned schools like Michaelhouse and Hilton College are located here.
Those who prefer the warm waters of the Indian Ocean coastline will enjoy St Francis Bay, a waterside village near Jeffreys Bay. Homes sell for R3m to R6m, up to R30m. Midway between Gqeberha and East London, Kenton on Sea is a little more affordable and ideal for digital nomads, retirees and families relocating to the coast. There are excellent leisure facilities like hiking trails, nature walks, and golfing. Prices range from R1.1m to R6m, up to about R15m.
On the West Coast, Langebaan attracts residents with its lagoon, water sports, and proximity to Cape Town. Prices range from R1.7m to R8m, up to about R30m. Nearby Yzerfontein offers an unspoiled coastal lifestyle with properties selling from R2.95m.
Closer to Gauteng, Hartbeespoort in the Magaliesberg area boasts luxury estates ranging from R2.2m to R40m for a top-end home. At the same time, Swellendam in the Overberg, a popular stopover on the way to the Garden Route, attracts young families looking for excellent schooling facilities. Homes sell for about R2m to R5m, with agri properties about R40m.
If you’re looking for clean air and a country lifestyle, Napier in the Overberg is a strong option. Prices range from R1.6m to R6m. Ladismith in the Klein Karoo is another excellent option in a scenic location with access to the Garden Route. Property is more affordable, with prices ranging from R850,000 to about R3m. Smallholdings and farms are also available.
Suppose proper country living is not entirely on the menu for you yet. In that case, the outskirts of Durbanville have new developments that offer rural tranquillity and accessibility – especially for those who still have children at school. The area is expanding, with numerous sports clubs and facilities, many excellent schools, shopping malls and a Mediclinic.
“Areas like Langeberg, Pinehurst, Uitzicht and Graanendal are hotspots for development and growth on the very edge of the Cape Metro,” says Mariël Burger, Pam Golding Properties area manager for Durbanville.
Langeberg, encompassing Langeberg Heights, Langeberg Ridge, and Langeberg Glen, is a tranquil residential area with a tight-knit community. Single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments offer a sound investment opportunity with a 5% growth rate in the past year. Prices range between R1.5m and R3m.
“Garden Cities’ flagship development, Pinehurst, is a mix of gated complexes with 24-hour manned security as well as freestanding homes and apartments. The average selling price for the over 2,000 freehold homes is R2.5m to R3.5m, and R800,000 to R1.5m for sectional title units. Established infrastructure includes a 6,868sqm retail hub on the corner of Brackenfell Boulevard and Pinehurst Drive,” says Burger.
Uitzicht, in the northeast of Durbanville, is near shopping centres like Cape Gate, Graanendal and Pinehurst and an array of top-notch schools. Easy access to major routes enhances its appeal. Homes are available from R800,000 to R4.5m.
Meanwhile, several developers have joined forces to acquire and develop a section of prime land on the Groot Phesantekraal farm on the outskirts of Durbanville. According to Burger, the plan is to incorporate a residential estate centred around a secondary and tertiary education hub. The new suburb will be known as Groot Phesantekraal Estate and will include a shopping mall, offices, retail, and further residential developments, the first of which is Wheatfields Estate, a 5.4ha security estate with 152 designer homes. Half have already been sold at prices ranging from R2.75m to R4.1m.
The progressive educational institution Curro Durbanville opened a modern high school campus in early 2022 at Groot Phesantekraal. This facility features state-of-the-art classrooms, extensive sports facilities, a 360-seater auditorium for performing arts, a dance studio, a drama studio, and six music rooms. Curro’s subsidiary, Stadio Holdings, also plans to develop a comprehensive university campus on a 7.8ha site opposite the new Curro Durbanville campus.
More good news for the area is a proposed plan by a group of entrepreneurs to develop the former Fisantekraal Airfield into an airport hub, like that at Lanseria near Johannesburg. The small airfield is currently limited to light aircraft traffic. Still, the proposed new airport will be a full-service hub that caters to scheduled passenger flights and general aviation activities, including non-scheduled flights by private plane owners.
Most in-demand small towns – average price growth over five and 10 years