The village of Muizenberg on the False Bay coastline between Strandfontein and St James has a rich history going back as far as 1795 when the Battle of Muizenberg was fought there that lead to the first British occupation of the Cape.
Main Road was put on a map even further back in 1687 when it became a look-out post for enemy ships entering False Bay. And today, an old fort built by the Dutch to defend themselves during this period is still visible on a hillside overlooking this spectacular bay and pristine stretch of beach.
Local surfers say Muizenberg’s reputation as the Cape’s surfing mecca is mostly as a result of Surfer’s Corner, that is located on the long stretch of flat beach with small ‘foamies’ breaking onto sand, allowing enthusiastic novices of all ages to master the art. Once hooked, many surfers become residents of this colourful community known to walk everywhere in the small village among quaint lanes that reflect the architectural inheritances of the colonial occupation. In a bygone era this was a seaside holiday suburb where the rich and famous invested in holiday homes away from the city.
But, there’s a lot more to Muizenberg than meets the eye at first sight, such as the determination of locals passionate about their village remaining a secure tourist environment and safe suburb. This area has over the past 10 years undergone a major rejuvenation process resulting from the successful efforts of local residents’ associations, business and local council, who by declaring it an improvement district zone, have mostly eliminated crime and grime.
A number of large buildings that have received facelifts by faithful property investors believing in the future prospects of the village have been instrumental in retaining the unique character of the suburb, and also an ideal place to live for young homeowners and first time buyers. As a result of new property investment into several large apartment blocks and private estates the area provides ample rental opportunities and entry level properties, with larger stately homes in the village for more exclusive buyers.
Statistics of property sales in Muizenberg shows a bucking of the slowed economic trend, where average property values in this village according to Lightstone have escalated to its highest levels since 2004 since last year, with average sectional share property prices overtaking that of freehold. The average values of property sales here in the past three months are shown as R1.053 for sectional share and R798 000 for freehold properties, compared to R362 000 and R577 000 respectively in 2004.
Recent investment has also seen an increase in the number of retirement facilities here, including Saint Ledger’s, one of Sir Herbert Baker’s many architectural designs and homes in the area, now renovated and refurbished into an upmarket retirement complex. This talented architect and local resident also designed a home for Sir Ernest Oppenheimer, a Tudor-style cottage known as Blue Mountains, along Beach Road, and Rust and Vrede on Main Road originally designed for Cecil John Rhodes who died prior to its completion.
Muizenberg offers residents a number of good primary and high schools in the area, as well as entertainment provided at any number of restaurants, the Masque Theatre, the Muizenburg Sunday Market, the Kite Festival and a number of beach events during the year.