Simon’s Town Rolling with the Punches

Private Property South Africa

Simon’s Town in Cape Town is weathering the property market storm fairly well.

That’s the news from Vivienne Brent of the local Jawitz branch who says that although property values have levelled off somewhat, demand for property at this charming seaside village has remained quite steady throughout the recession and is picking up once more.

Simon’s Town is named after Simon van der Stel, an early Cape Colony governor. The suburb was established through its initial usage as a safe anchorage point and later became the home of the Royal Navy and in later years the South African Navy. Simon’s Town’s Historic Mile is the heart of the town. A variety of architecturally interesting buildings (some of which are protected Heritage buildings) are located here alongside excellent restaurants, antique shops and galleries.

Other draw-cards include Simon’s Town’s quaint waterfront which features shops, art galleries, restaurants and a hotel. Myriad sea-related activities can be organised with ease, Cape Point lies but a short drive away, B&B’s are numerous and the town’s Jubilee Square, Boulders Beach and four museums are veritable tourist magnets. A number of naval festivals and events also take place throughout the year.

Over the years, Simon’s Town has earned a reputation for being the exclusive domain of retirees and wealthy foreign buyers and although there is some truth in this, Brent says Simon’s Town has something for everyone. Open plots in the area sell from R700 000; refurbished two bedroom apartments can be bought for R900 000; two bedroom cottages with good sea views and beach access are selling for around R1, 5m and the ‘big daddies’ of the area are moving for around R4m.

“Spring is in the air and buyers are coming out of hibernation,” remarks Brent. “Many have taken an interest in Simon’s Town’s top end properties as a number of these have come down in price and offer fantastic value for money. But as ever there are those who refuse to budge on their unrealistic asking prices and they are going to lose out.”

A case in point is Simon’s Kloof. This is one of the most sought-after nodes of Simon’s Town as it is purportedly wind-free. Some sellers have their properties on the market here for as much as R7m but buyers aren’t biting.

And while Simon’s Town’s property market is characterised in the main by freehold properties, a small percentage is devoted to Sectional Title homes. Indeed, the latest Lightstone report on the area shows that a mere 6% of Simon’s Town’s property market comprises Sectional Title homes. According to Brent these properties sell for as much as R2m. In terms of property rentals, Brent remarks that long term rental properties are hard to come by in Simon’s Town. Those that do come on to the market are snapped up within days which is a good sign for potential investors seeking buy-to-let properties.

In terms of basic amenities, Simon’s Town also delivers. A number of good schools including Simon's Town School and Noordhoek Private School are within close reach as are quality medical facilities. Brent adds that crime in the area is minimal thanks to an active neighbourhood watch and an effective local police force. Overall Simon’s Town offers a particularly appealing package which will no doubt keep buyers and tourists like coming back for more for years to come.

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