Those seeking to escape the rat race should consider Kommetjie in Cape Town. Kommetjie is a quintessential seaside village which moves at a far more sedate pace to that of big cities, and it is this aspect which appeals greatly to buyers across the spectrum. So says Jill Russell of J&B Russell Estates which specialises in the area.
“To put things into perspective, Kommetjie consists of a mere 1500 homes which house some 4 500 residents. A single road leads into and out of the suburb, Cape Town’s city centre lies 40 minutes away and the nearest major shopping centre is situated 10km’s away in another suburb. And therein lies the beauty of Kommetjie in that it is off the beaten track which affords it an unparalleled sense of tranquillity.”
Kommetjie enjoys a rich history. In 1743, a local of Dutch descent named Christina Diemer negotiated a land deal for the area with Baron Gustav Wilhelm von Imhoff, then ‘Governor Extraordinaire’ of the Dutch East India Company. He granted her the land on the condition that she had to sell the fresh produce derived from the land to the company’s ships at Simon’s Bay for a fixed price. In 1902, Kommetjie Estates Limited acquired the land and the first houses were built in the area in 1905.
Today, Kommetjie occupies an area sandwiched between the Slangkop Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. The Table Mountain National Park borders one side of the village. A notable Kommetjie feature is the 105 year old Slangkop Lighthouse which is also the tallest lighthouse in South Africa.
According to Russell, Kommetjie’s residents have and continue to make a concerted effort to retain Kommetjie’s rural village ambiance. ‘McMansion’ type properties are frowned on and large commercial developments have yet to make an appearance. The fact that the majority of the land is already occupied also puts paid to any high density development plans she says.
That said, Kommetjie is open to change. A portion of privately owned land was recently earmarked for potential development and a Sectional Title development has taken root in recent times. Units at these developments now sell for around R1m each on average. According to the latest Lightstone report on the area, two Sectional Title properties have been sold to date in 2011.
Kommetjie’s Sectional Title properties are very much in the minority though. The suburb’s property market is characterised in the main by freehold properties ranging from two bedroom ‘cottage-like” homes priced at R1m to spacious upmarket beach-front homes valued at between R7m and R12m. Russell says properties priced around the R1, 5m mark are the most popular with buyers at present but that stock in this price range is thin on the ground. Lightstone statistics place the current number of 2011 freehold sales at 25. Every year, a small number of freehold homes are made available to rent either on a long term or holiday basis. Long term lease prices range from R5000 to R15 000pm; holiday leases range from R200 to over R700 per day.
Kommetjie’s residents include nature lovers, retirees, self-employed professionals, surfers and young ex-pat couples returning from overseas. Many cite Kommetjie’s low crime rate, close-knit community and world-class surfing and water sports as the reasons behind their decision to live in the area.
Moreover, despite being somewhat removed from big city life, residents still enjoy easy access to most modern amenities. The village lies within close proximity of good medical facilities and schools and Kommetjie’s village centre features restaurants, a petrol station, surf shop, deli and post office.
“In a nutshell, people live in Kommetjie because they want a certain lifestyle. Residents can go for walks in the mountains or fish for crayfish off Kommetjie’s shoreline and children can play freely at the beach. Suffice to say Kommetjie is truly unique and special and we hope to keep it that way for many years to come."