As the tenth oldest town in the country and home to the magnificent endangered Cedar tree and Aspalathus Linearis – otherwise known as Rooibos tea, the enchanting town of Clan William has retained much of its old-world charm. Rich in settlers’ history and nestled at the foot of the Cedarberg mountains, this beautiful town and its surrounds continue to attract a plethora of tourists.
Surrounded by vineyards and orange orchards little has changed in Clan William over the centuries, including the Anglican Church which was built in 1867 along with the Old Gaol which now houses a museum. The Cape Dutch architecture that lines the streets along with the old stone cottages and the 250 indigenous species of wild flowers endemic to this region make Clan William one of the most picturesque routes in the Western Cape.
The Cedarberg Arts Festival which is hosted in Clan William each year pays tribute to two icons of the region. The famous paediatrician and South African poet Louis Leipoldt once resided in the area and upon his death his ashes were scattered at the foot of a San cave site just outside the town. The late Tolla Van Der Merwe, a well-known storyteller and television personality originally devised the festival to paid tribute to Leipoldt’s work. The festival has gone on to develop and showcase young South African talent and is well attended annually.
Residential sales in Clan William are fairly impressive as far as numbers are concerned considering the geographic size of the town. Recent statistics released by Lightstone reveal that there have been 30 property sales in the last 12 month period.
The freehold sector of the market dominated sales in the same period, with 94% of the sales concluded being freehold property. The average price paid for a home was R529 000, which is significantly higher than the R376 000 average paid in 2008. However, consistent with many other regions in the country, sales volumes have dropped drastically in the last three years from 106 sales in 2008, to 37 sales in 2010.
The tenure of ownership is stable with 48.71% of residents having resided in the area for longer than 11 years. The figures indicate that 44% of recent sellers in the area have also resided in the town for longer than 11 years. Perhaps some are considering retirement to this enticing surreal suburb with 41.18% of recent purchasers being in the age group of 50-64 years of age.
Considering that Clan William and the surrounding areas are the only place in the world that the plant Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) grows, myth and legend will tell you that the tea is a magical brew which calms the spirit and heals the soul. Perhaps the same could be said of Clan William itself.