Property Advice

Gen x building the next generation of coastal homes

Private Property South Africa
Gen x building the next generation of coastal homes

Semigration is changing the shape of coastal towns across the country. These once small, quite seaside towns are beginning to burst at the seams thanks to the trend of remote working that has opened up a world of new possibilities.

Destinations and market dynamics

According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, this can be a good thing for the smaller towns, as it means property prices will grow alongside the rising demand, which will be to the benefit of those who already own property in the area.

With the Western Cape being one of the most popular semigration destinations, the coastal areas surrounding Hermanus are growing quickly to keep up with the rising demand, so much so that investors are now keen to purchase vacant land to build their own coastal dream from scratch.

Barbara Larney, Broker/Manager of RE/MAX Wine and Whales, notes that their office is experiencing a surge in demand for vacant land on seafront properties.

“We find that there is a growing trend among Gen X moving from Gauteng to coastal areas like Gansbaai and Hermanus, seeking a change in pace, a more relaxed environment, and the opportunity to pursue a second career. Generation X's combination of a strong work ethic, technological proficiency, and community-oriented values makes them valuable contributors to the development of these coastal towns. Their ability to adapt to evolving technologies, along with their commitment to community engagement, plays a significant role in shaping the future of small towns.”

Larney explains that areas such as Gansbaai and Pearly Beach offer these kinds of homebuyers and investors affordable vacant land opportunities for sustainable living, which is attractive to many buyers who are now prioritising environmental consciousness and sustainable practices such as renewable energy, organic farming, sustainable development, conservation efforts, eco-tourism, and community initiatives.

“The average price range of vacant land for sale in Gansbaai typically starts at around R550,000. However, it's important to note that land prices can vary significantly depending on factors such as location, size, and market conditions. Certain areas like De Kelders in Gansbaai, known for its stunning sea views and coastal beauty, do have higher prices. It is not uncommon for vacant land in De Kelders with prime sea views to reach prices of R3 million. The average price of vacant land in the greater Hermanus area varies depending on factors such as location, size, and proximity to amenities, but generally ranges from affordable options in Sandbaai at R850,000 to premium prices in Onrus at around R3 million rands,” she explains.

She adds that there is a limited supply of vacant land in the Hermanus area which tends to drive up prices.

“The area is still a popular tourist destination and a place where people like to own holiday homes, which creates a demand for vacant land to build such properties.”

Given the limited availability of land in Hermanus, buyers are starting to look further afield. “More buyers consider Gansbaai as a viable option for residential or vacation properties now that road construction on the R43 is almost completed, which provides improved commuting access from Hermanus to Gansbaai.”

According to Larney, this improved connectivity has also triggered increased interest from property developers. “Developers and individuals are now more inclined to invest in land and construction projects, resulting in new residential properties being built to meet the growing demand. It also attracts a broader range of buyers, including those who previously considered the distance a hindrance,” she comments.

As the transportation infrastructure improves, new travel options for weekend getaways open up. “Previously less-visited or remote locations like Pearly Beach are becoming more popular as they become easily accessible for weekend trips. These secondary destinations can experience increased tourism, leading to economic growth and ultimately property development is likely to occur in the area.”

Taking a broader view on the situation, Goslett comments that the property market has been evolving ever since the pandemic. “It is exciting to see new growth nodes pop up to accommodate the shift in lifestyle. Given this shift, I do believe that coastal homes offer great investment opportunities, especially for those who are able to enter the market before the area is too fully developed,” he concludes.

Writer: Kayla Ferguson

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