Prime locations to suit short and long term

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

Ideally a relocation destination should fulfill short and long term selection criteria, to also include the knowledge of infrastructural and possibly commercial development in an area.

Individuals looking to move to a new suburb, a city, an agricultural area or a coastal resort have varying needs, just as buyers, tenants and landlords selecting a new home have to look far broader than just ticking off the short list. Once the choice of location meets basic lifestyle requirements, knowing what local municipalities or private developers have in store for an area, can provide much insight.

Such as residents and business owners along the massive False Bay Main Road renewal project, undertaken by the City of Cape Town, stretching from Muizenberg, past Kalkbay, St James to Clovelley, not yet complete after three years. In the long term, this large municipal infrastructural renewal will offer residents and property owners multiple benefits, including improved traffic flow, quality roads, stylish pavements, and additional parking, ideally suited to this popular tourist destination. In addition are the high-tech installations of new electricity and telecommunications cables, as well as water and sewerage works, planned to serve local communities in decades to come. Yet, for those who entered into long term rental agreements, as either residential or business tenants, or new property owners unaware of the lengthy delays, the consequences of commuting difficulties, or financial losses resulting from hugely reduced passing trade, are difficult to ignore in the absence of precautionary planning.

Although new commercial developments is mostly an unknown commodity, as applications for the approvals of new departures can take years, a degree of certainty lies in accessing municipal plans to see the exact nature of future developments allowed in specific residential nodes. With the assistance of property professionals in obtaining factual information on development and infrastructure policies in an area, prospective residents have far greater long term security about the choices they make. For some, infrastructure and commercial development would serve optimum functionality in supporting local communities, while others might prefer less development to aid quieter lifestyles.

Ongoing infrastructural and investment activity in the quaint historic town of Graaff Reinet, once a remote farm village in the centre of the Karoo, now a prominent tourist destination, has resulted from the town’s rich cultural heritage and architectural attractions. Average house prices in Graaff Reinet have increased from R349,000 in 2007 to around R655,000, while homes are selling for up to R1,45 million. Andrew McNaugton of Seeff Properties in Graaff Reinet says the town’s historic theme brings an eclectic mix of residents, from agricultural property owners to heritage property fans, as well as those satisfied with renewing houses to suit modern living. He says Graaff Reinet’s styles of architectural design, including Cape Dutch, Victorian, Georgian and Karoo styles, attracts local and foreign buyers, while steady investment is seen by government to maintain the rich cultural and historic heritage of the area, coupled with large retail investments based on research that supports future capital returns.

Another example of healthy capital investment following demand is Stellenbosch, where Nedbank Investment Bank’s confidence in the town’s bright future is illustrated. The current renewal of Eikestad Mall is also seeing the addition of Adringa Walk apartment complex, exclusively marketed by Pam Golding Properties Stellenbosch to be launched in January 2014.

Increased demand has attracted new investment to the popular Overberg town of Greyton, the spectacular country get away, complete with upmarket leisure and residential properties, restaurants and retail facilities, now also with Mizpa, a 20 unit retirement development marketed by RealNet Overberg. Most important for longterm peace of mind say the experts, is to determine that a lack of development in a specific location exists for the right reasons.

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