Though the idea of a vacation is hard to imagine this time of year, savvy investors should seize the opportunity to find their holiday home in the peace and stillness of the off-season before the crowds arrive to drive up prices.
“After the crowds clear out, buyers can get a better idea of what the area has to offer during off-season. They are also more likely to get a better deal when making an offer, as most sellers are serious about closing a sale before peak-season starts,” explains Barbara Larney, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Town and Country operating in the holiday town of Hermanus.
However, given that we are in a buyer’s market at the moment, sales associate at RE/MAX Town and Country, Yvonne Teixeira, suggests that buyers could still stand a chance of securing a good deal on a holiday home over the busier summer months provided that market conditions do not change.
“Since there are so many properties on the market now, there are some excellent deals for relatively below market price. The identity of Hermanus has also changed. It is no longer just a little holiday village that empties out over the off-peak seasons. There has been a paradigm shift with many people working from home or commuting and this affects the reasoning behind property purchases,” says Teixeira.
Apart from this, Larney advises that time should also be a consideration to factor into any purchasing decision. “On average, the registration process takes around three months from the date of sale until the property is registered in the new owner's name. It’s a good idea to start shopping in the beginning of the winter so that, if all goes well, you will be able to move into the home just before the peak summer season starts,” Larney explains.
Lastly, distance plays a key role in finding a holiday home. “If the property is more than two hours’ drive away from your primary residence, you won’t visit nearly as often as you would like. The property then becomes a maintenance issue instead of an enjoying place in which to spend your holiday,” Larney advises.
From a national perspective, Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, suggests that towns like Hermanus offer great potential for second property purchases. “A holiday home is a year-round commitment, so you need to be sure that you will want to spend your weekends in this town even during the quieter seasons. Towns such as Hermanus therefore offer great options for holiday home investments. With all the perks of being a holiday town as well as a year-round place of residence, purchasers are guaranteed a good trip no matter the time of year they choose to visit,” Goslett concludes.