Estate agents agree that Hout Bay is poised to become even more desirable as a destination and a property area, with prices starting to reflect that trend.
People come here for the lifestyle,’ says James Lewis of Seeff Hout Bay Llandudno. And what a lifestyle it is: horse-riding, hiking, surfing, yachting, dining, walking your dog on the beach, cycling, kayaking and visiting markets. It’s a picture-postcard kind of lifestyle. And a picture-postcard kind of town… Hout Bay is surrounded by a breathtaking amphitheatre of mountains and national parks, and is the gateway to Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the most spectacular stretches of coastal road in the world.
While Hout Bay has maintained its unpretentious village atmosphere, it is becoming an increasingly popular choice for those who want their children to experience the freedom of a beach down the road, cycling to school in relative safety and learning to ride a horse in a rural setting. Properties available range from one-bedroom, beach- facing apartments to holiday cottages; architecturally designed mansions to equestrian smallholding farms, giving the village its varied character.
It’s also a cosmopolitan spot, home to foreigners who spend six months of the year in SA as well as young families, immigrants from Africa looking for opportunity, entrepreneurs working from home and wealthy retirees. The residents run the many restaurants, bars, yoga studios, spiritual retreats, and boutiques, increasingly improving infrastructure as the village continues to grow. The ‘Republic of Hout Bay’ also takes social responsibility seriously: residents passionately recycle and support their local animal rescue centre, affectionately known as DARG (Domestic Animal Rescue Group).
Residential price increases
The latest PropStats figures for Hout Bay, from the Western Cape Institute of South African Estate Agents, reveal that residential price increases are now very much part and parcel of the property scene in this valley, says Piet van der Merwe, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee. While this is good news for sellers, buyers would like to know that there are still bargains to be had.
PropStats figures from January 2013 to January 2014 show that the average selling price of homes in Hout Bay is R2 765 230. Compare this to other areas on the Atlantic Seaboard and it makes sense to buy in Hout Bay. Perhaps even more significant, says Van der Merwe, is the fact that in 2013, 29 homes were sold in the R4-million to R6-million price bracket and 11 for more than R6-million. These prices would have been almost unattainable in Hout Bay five years ago. Asked whether or not he foresees the current price rises continuing, Van der Merwe said that in view of the increasing demand and stock shortages, price increases seem inevitable.
The commute into the city via the coastal road remains one of the quickest and easiest in the Greater Cape Town area, and the route over Constantia Nek to the airport is a mere 40 minutes.
Crime and unrest in Hout Bay have made headlines, but, according to Stephan Cross, sales manager for Seeff Hout Bay Llandudno, Hout Bay crime statistics have, in the past, been misleading. ‘The majority of crimes took place within the informal settlement and were often as a result of alcohol abuse. Since the arrival of new management at SAPS, however, several shebeens have been closed and this has solved the internal issues in the informal settlement. As a result, an 80% year- on-year drop in crime has been reported.’
The type of crime is also an important factor to take into account. ‘The balance of the crimes were opportunistic and the smallest percentile were “aggrieved” crimes, which have a more sinister connotation. In reality, the crime in Hout Bay is no different from that in neighbouring suburbs.
Hout Bay has a strong neighbourhood watch, visible patrolling and fast SAPS response times. The plans for formalisation of the informal settlement have now been approved, which will make Hout Bay one of the safest and most integrated neighbourhoods in Cape Town.’
If the thought of living in a village on the edge of a national park that just happens to be round the (very beautiful) corner from Cape Town appeals to you, now might be the time to start looking for a property in Hout Bay.
Schools available in Hout Bay
Pre-school and primary school:
My Montessori Eco School
Hout Bay Montessori
Hout Bay International School
Ambleside School of Hout Bay