Making waves on the West Coast
Category Cape Town Property
Famous for fresh-from-the-ocean seafood, breathtaking fields of spring flowers and great weather for sailing, the Cape West Coast is currently also experiencing a wave of commercial and industrial development – and rising residential property demand
“In fact, the market here is the strongest it’s been in 15 years – and getting stronger as big business and industry continues to flourish here, says local Chas Everitt International principal Kobus Potgieter.
“The economy of the West Coast, which was once driven entirely by the fishing industry, is now all about other industries,” he says. “And for the past five years it has been driving excellent year-on-year growth in house prices along the whole coastline from Yzerfontein to Velddrif.”
What is more, the trend is expected to continue. Saldanha Bay, which was identified by government as a Strategic Integrated Project in 2012, has already received significant investment for infrastructure development from both the public and private sectors. And as an oil and gas servicing and marine repair hub, the new Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), which will be fully operational by 2021, is expected to create more than 21 000 jobs.
“People are anticipating this development and it has already prompted higher demand for homes in the surrounding towns,” says Potgieter. “For example in Yzerfontein, which is 70km away from Saldanha on the Cape Town side of the R27, it is difficult now to find a 250sqm family home for under R2m.”
And property prices in Langebaan, which is 50km up the coast, and in Jacobsbaai, a further 20 minutes’ drive away, aren’t far behind those of Yzerfontein, he says. “The same size house will cost you between R1,5 and R1,8m in these villages while in St Helena Bay and Velddrif, where you could still buy a house for R850 000 last year, you’ll now pay between R1,2 and R1,5m – unless it’s a beachfront property, which will set you back at least R5m.”
Potgieter also notes that while the buyers of a few years ago were largely Capetonians seeking a weekend retreat in a traditional fishing village, buyers these days are almost exclusively purchasing with the intention of becoming permanent residents.
“Young families are streaming into the area. Nine years ago, Curro Langebaan, the private school of choice on the West Coast, had no more than 200 pupils. Today it has over 1000. The town itself now boasts more than 8500 homeowners who are permanent residents and is beginning to function as a commuter town.”
He says there are also many buyers from upcountry who find the West Coast property prices easier to stomach than those of Cape Town. “Many of these residents work in the Northern Suburbs of the metro and don’t mind the 70km commute to Table View, for example. They also love Langebaan for its first-rate infrastructure, its relaxed lifestyle and its clean environment.”
Unsurprisingly, there has been considerable commercial development along the West Coast in response to this influx of newcomers, he notes. “The Weskus Mall in Vredenburg has been substantially expanded and a major upgrade of the Laguna Mall will accommodate two new anchor tenants, a 3000sqm Checkers and a Woolworths Food store.”
Needless to say, the whole of the West Coast also offers excellent opportunities now for buy-to-let investors and new home developers, “and this will only intensify as demand rises in tandem with new employment opportunities created at the various new industrial and commercial developments”.
Thanks to a shortage of stock, rentals have increased by more than 30% in the past year, Potgieter says, and a two- to three-bedroom house on the West Coast will now rent for at least R15 000 a month – if you can find one.
Author: Meg Wilson