Wynberg is one of South Africa’s oldest suburbs with origins dating back over three centuries to when the area came under the ownership of one Herman Weeckens. It was named De Oude Wjinbergh meaning ‘Old Wine Mountain’ and was initially farmland.
History has it that Wynberg rapidly developed into a garrison town following the British acquisition of the Cape in 1795. Given its locality, it later became a commercial and residential hub. Other suburbs later mushroomed around it and today Wynberg is bordered by Kenilworth to the north and Plumstead to the south east with Constantia on its western boundary.
The heart of Wynberg is more commonly known as the ‘Old Wynberg Village’ and has been declared an urban conservation area. Today the area is home to one of the largest collections of historic properties in SA; a fact which draws tourists in their droves and which, according to local Pam Golding estate agent Louisa de Jager lends Wynberg a distinctive old world charm.
Many of the area’s historic cottages have been beautifully maintained and converted into galleries and antique shops. These Cape gems occasionally become available to residential buyers seeking a retreat from the proverbial rat race and achieve prices in excess of R1,5m. For those seeking something more spacious, Wynberg doesn’t fail to deliver. According to De Jager, the upper parts of Wynberg feature sprawling mansions priced anywhere from R5m to R12m in some instances.
These properties are apparently popular with well-to-do locals and foreigners but are the exception to the norm though with the most activity currently occurring in the R1, 6m bracket. Homes in this price range typically feature three bedrooms, two bathrooms, ample gardens and parking space.
Wynberg’s sectional title market is seemingly also on the rise. According to the latest Lightstone report on the area, almost half of Wyberg’s property market comprises sectional title properties. In 2010, over 100 were sold for R611 000 on average; over 20 have been sold to date in 2011 at prices in excess of R700 000.
In addition to the many historic cottages in the area, Wynberg also plays host to a number of Victorian and art deco type properties which only serve to enhance the suburb’s charm still further. A significant number of national monuments are also in evidence and Cape Town’s famed Kirstenbosch Gardens lie within easy reach.
Another remnant of the area’s past is Maynardville Park which encompasses an open air theatre. Popular Shakespeare productions take place here from December to February. According to De Jager the park is currently undergoing an overhaul and is set to include a restaurant in the near future. “In addition to the many historic draw cards of the area, Wynberg enjoys all the mod cons of contemporary city life including quality schools, upmarket retail outlets, B&B’s and good arterial roads such as the M3 which enables easy inner city and beach access,” explains De Jager. “Residents are often seen walking their dogs in the local fields and the area exudes a real sense of community. All in all Wynberg residents really do enjoy the best of both worlds.”