When property owners chose to invest in the lifestyle of Wellington, they were mindful of a lifestyle rich in culture and history, the magnificent outdoors and an abundance of agricultural offerings.
The valley of Wellington is set at the foot of the Groenberg mountain and on the banks of the Krommeriver, and is regarded as one of the Boland region’s agricultural treasures. Best known for its decidious fruit, wine and brandy production, it is surrounded by Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Paarl, Rawsonville and Worcester, and is only an hour away from the city of Cape Town.
Many foreign influences contributed to the cultural and educational characteristics of this town, where the earliest residents were French Huguenot refugees who settled in what was then known as Limiet Vallei, in 1688. The valley was later renamed Wagenmakers Vallei, as a result of a wagon building industry necessitated by the Kimberley diamond fields discovered in 1869. This historic town received its current name from the Governor of the Cape, Sir George Napier, who renamed it in honour of the Duke of Wellington, victor of the Battle of Waterloo.
The rich heritage of this valley extends to an area 10 km outside the village, from where the picturesque Bainskloof Pass can be seen. Commonly referred to as an ‘engineering masterpiece’, this 30 km pass was completed in 1853 by Scottish born Wellington resident Andrew Geddes Bain. Without any formal engineering training, Bain designed this road across the Limiet Mountains to reach the Cape interior, and built it by employing convict labourers.
The town of Wellington’s central location within the Boland, offers reasonable commuting distances to nearby towns, and as a result has become a popular choice with families and students who commute to the university town of Stellenbosch. However, as a result of Wellington’s many foreign residents showing an early interest in education, the town has a number of excellent pre-schools, primary and high schools, as well as two tertiary institutions. The Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Wellington Campus is the only institution in the Western Cape to offer educational training for teachers in Afrikaans. Huguenot College, a social, youth and missionary work-training institution is also located there.
Although statistics show a conservative turnover in property sales, Lightstone shows a steady growth pattern of average property prices growing from R220 000 in 2004 to R356 000 in 2010, with its peak in 2010 of R394 000. A total number of 14 property sales took place in 2010, valued at R5.032 million, and average property prices of R359 000, peaking in 2009 at R394 000, show good entry levels for first time buyers.
Property buyers in Wellington stay for at least 11 years, as illustrated by Lightstone’s 79 percent stable property ownership, and 67 percent recent sellers. While 37% of these stable owners are aged between 50 to 64, it also shows that families stay possibly for the duration of their children’s education, since 55 percent of recent buyers are younger families aged between 36 and 49.
Wellington offers nature lovers a multitude of recreational opportunities, such as hiking and horseback trail adventures, available in a number of nature reserves and mountain ranges including the Bergriver Valley, Bainskloof and Hawequa mountains.