One way to reach the Atlantic Coast village of Scarborough is to travel along the False Bay coastline toward the Cape of Good Hope Reserve, pass Smitswinkel Bay and around Cape Point toward Schuster’s Kraal in a westerly direction.
This is where a colourful people re-locate to when the need arises to escape city dwelling, despite the one hour commute from Cape Town, and about half an hour to suburban high schools. Some of life’s small pleasures when living in this village range from diving for Sunday lunch from one’s doorstep, building sandcastles at a whim, or simply taking refuge under the Milkwoods in summer. The unconventional residents of this neighbourhood, some who are famous artists, others conservationists or skilled professionals, say their sharing of common passions such as the brilliant surf, or voting for no streetlights, is what makes this such a special village.
Another point illustrating the commitment of locals to their pristine environment is that Scarborough was designated as a conservation village in April 1996, defined as “a residential area of limited extent, surrounded by a conserved natural landscape.” Not exactly comparable in size to its equally magnificent counterpart on the West Coast of England, it shares the common interest of those passionate about the preservation of their environment that includes magnificent woodlands and unspoilt coastlines.
This piece of tranquil coastline features approximately 400 houses, and mostly attracts property owners whose long term plans include raising families close to nature. Property development in Scarborough remains contained, and the latest property trend here shows a definite pattern of 49% of the village’s stable owners and 36% of recent sellers to have lived there for 11 years or more, followed by residents who lived there for eight to 10 years.
But, when searching for property information about Scarborough, this suburb is also referred to as Schuster’s Kraal, after the nearby wetlands area and lagoon with a rocky beach hugging the coastline. Property professionals say that because the area only has freehold properties and as a result of the low turnover of residents here, average property prices showed steady growth for six years before a minimal decline in 2010. Although the sale of 22 property sales in 2010 was the lowest number of sales there since 2006 when 39 properties were sold, the past three months of this year has already seen 11 properties change hands. Highest average property prices fetched here was R1 651 million in 2009, and steady growth was seen since 2004 of R1.078 million to current average freehold property prices of R1.403million. Local agents say property for rent in Scarborough is a prize commodity, mostly as a result of the absence of sectional share properties and limited vacant land available for development.
In terms of average values from a national ranking perspective, Scarborough is closely tabled with other coastal suburbs such as Paradise in Knysna, Ballito in KwaZulu Natal and Wilderness near George, all holding average values ranging around R1.970. On a Western Cape Municipal average price scale, Scarborough sits firmly between the better known Northern suburbs of Durbanville Extension 2 and Durbanville Hills.