False Bay has become hot property with the FNB Property Barometer for the Cape metro ranking it in third place after the Atlantic Seaboard/City Bowl and Southern Suburbs areas for value growth. Property values are up by on average 61.7% over the last five years and 411.2% over 15 years.
Gary Grobbelaar, Seeff’s CEO for the area attributes the good performance to a confluence of factors, especially the sought-after coastal location and affordability.
Here, he says, you can still buy a nice property close to the sea for under R2.5 million, even under R1.5 million for an older flat. Everything is very conveniently located, so you can often walk to the beaches, shops and even the schools. We have excellent rail services into the Southern Suburbs and CBD and a number of roads out of the area into the city, so it is an excellent commuter area.
There is a notable rise in luxury buying in the area and Grobbelaar says top end properties are edging increasingly above the R5m-R10m price band as luxury buyers discover the value and lifestyle on offer on this side of the Peninsula.
That said, there is still excellent value for luxury buyers who can find stunning homes with fabulous views in the R5m price range, he says.
Stock levels can be tight at times and he says that if you find a well-priced property for under R1.5m-R2m in hots spots such as Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town, then you should buy it because chances are that it will be snapped or could cost you more if you wait another year or two.
False Bay is one of the top Blue Flag coastal areas with four Blue Flag beaches - Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, Strandfontein and Mnandi, while the False Bay Yacht Club is a Blue Flag Marina.
The coastline and bay is particularly scenic with the rising mountain that slopes down to the coastal promenade areas fronted by white sandy beaches and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. The villages almost flow into each other.
The main road that winds its way from Muizenberg to Simon’s Town and eventually on to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, is one of the most scenic coastal drives in the world and a tourist hub. It is lined with eateries and art, antique and boutique-styled shops and is packed with visitors almost year-round.
Artists and photographers alike find plenty of inspiration, from the colourful beach huts of Muizenberg and St James Beach which adorn post cards around the world to the historic buildings and on to the yacht bays.
The area is regarded as the Venice Beach of Africa with a very similar laid-back Boho and surfing culture. The ocean is warmer (19-21 degrees in summer vs 15-17 in Blouberg) and Muizenberg, the birthplace of South Africa’s surfing culture, is regarded as one of the top 20 surf towns in the world by National Geographic.
Surfer’s Corner forms the heart of the area and is home to several surf shops and surf schools along with trendy eateries such as Knead Bakery, all overlooking the beautiful ocean. Other landmarks in the area include Harbour House and Live Bait restaurants in Kalk Bay, the Penguins of Boulders Beach and the Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town waterfront areas, but there are in essence loads of hot spots according to Grobbelaar.
These are also close-knit communities who are focused on preserving the areas with a Central Improvement District in operation in Muizenberg for example to aid in the upliftment of run-down areas and security issues.
Naturally, the area is a watersport haven with anything from bathing in the rock pools or swimming in the ocean, to surfing, kite surfing boarding, kayaking just some of what you can enjoy here according to Seeff’s agents in the area.
There is also a busy rental market driven by the demand for residential as well as holiday rentals. It is still very affordable and you can for example still rent in Capricorn Beach and the Muizenberg Village for under R10 000 per month. Top end properties, especially those close to Surfer’s Corner or with fabulous sea views though can cost more.
The area is therefore an excellent prospect for buy-to-let investors, but Grobbelaar says that investors and buyers alike to need to work with a credible agency with a demonstrable track record to ensure that they are making a good investment. Although popular with retirement and holiday home buyers, we are seeing a shift with many younger buyers looking to settle and invest in the area. It is also popular with semigrating buyers from Joburg and other inland provinces.
Bonita Lee, an agent with Seeff in Muizenberg says that the lifestyle is driving younger buyers to the area, but also retirees. There is a good mix of property with about a 50/50 split between full title and sectional title. We often find that we are short of stock and prices have risen notably over the last few years.
Muizenberg’s full title price has more than doubled over five years and now stands at R1.6m, but can reach R7m for a top end property against the mountain. The Capricorn Beach area is highly sought-after for sales and rentals.
Seeff’s Fish Hoek team, Carey Ann Pickford and Simon Tait meanwhile have recently made a number of sales including properties listed between R2.5m and R5.1m. Although more than 70% of all property in the village, is full title, you can still find a two-bedroomed flat for around R1.5m and there is also a new townhouse development, offering fabulous homes priced around R2.8m for a three-bedroomed duplex.
The average full title price has risen by 69% over five years and now stands at R2.2m. Luxury buyers can find fabulous homes against the mountain with decks and views as far as the eye can see for around the R4m-R5m range.
Lola Casey and Andrea Booth from Seeff Simon’s Town say that the area is now heading into the busier summer months. The team says that most of their buyers are coming for Joburg and Constantia, the UK and lately even from Australia. Many are young investors, looking for good rental return investments or Airbnb investments. The seaside lifestyle close to popular private schools is another big draw for buyers.
The town is developing and one of the most exciting additions, is the new Harbour Bay apartment complex where units, priced upwards of R2.7m are all sold out. A new shopping centre is also opening with top brands such as Woolworths, Pick n Pay and Clicks and a new day hospital and ER is also in the pipeline.
Affordability is a big feature given that apartments start at just over R1 million and residential homes from about R2 million. Property values have risen by 37%-44% over the last five years.