Stretching from the Mtamvuna River in the north and the Great Kei River in the south, the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape is one of the most remote and untouched shorelines that South Africa has to offer.
“The region may not be as built-up or as glamorous as some of the other popular holiday destinations in the country, but it is home to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the world. Every year it attracts both eco-loving locals as well as foreigners looking for something different and adventurous. The Wild Coast lives up to its name and investors looking for a holiday home in a rustic, laid-back setting will find it here,” says Anne Chegwidden of RE/MAX Alpha in East London, which also services the Wild Coast region.
The birthplace of Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, the Wild Coast’s historical South African roots as well as the untamed terrain, sheer cliff faces, uninhabited beaches, secluded bays and mild weather all add to the allure of this region with hikers, surfers and nature lovers alike. The Wild Coast has also attracted a few renowned adventurers, perhaps most notably, the United Kingdom's Prince Harry and Prince William who explored portions of the Wild Coast on motorcycles back in 2008.
Chegwidden says that popular and convenient destinations on the Wild Coast are Kei Mouth, Morgan Bay and Haga Haga. Situated just north of East London, these small, isolated seaside villages offer activities from deep-sea fishing to golf. Kei Mouth is also home to the Pont, which is one of two car-transporting pontoon river ferry services remaining in South Africa. The Pont carries vehicles and passengers as well as their livestock across the Great Kei on a daily basis.
Many investors purchase leisure property in areas that offer them a lifestyle that is very different to what they are used to at home. The unique qualities that the Wild Coast offers is reflected in the fact that demand for property in the region has remained fairly steady throughout 2011 and the year before.
“It is very hard not to fall in love with the Wild Coast after spending time here and many investors decide to come back to the region in the beginning of the year to purchase property. Over the festive season the property market activity in this region usually increases and this past holiday period was no exception, in fact, activity increased year on year from the same period in 2010,” says Chegwidden.
Much of the activity in the property market during the holiday period was in Morgan Bay. This is because of its ideal location, and because it boasts one of the prettiest beaches and lagoons which allows for protected swimming. There are many houses in Morgan Bay which are priced within the R1 million to R1,5 million price band as well as plots that range from R 300 000 to R 450 000 for those wanting to get a foot in the market.
“Another hot investment node was Haga Haga. Some plots at the Haga Haga retreat that are being sold by the developer have dropped in price by R50 000 and are situated very close to the main beach. These plots, along with houses in the R1,05 million and R1,2 million range and have attracted investors,” says Chegwidden.