Spotlight on Durbanville
Category Cape Town Property
If you're looking for the best-value upmarket family homes in the Cape Town metro, you should head for Durbanville, which also offers a relaxed "country" lifestyle in a beautiful setting surrounded by hills and wine farms.
So says Charl Louw, director of Chas Everitt International Northern Suburbs, who notes that the demand for homes in this already popular area has been boosted recently by the launch of the posh Clara Anna Fontein estate on its northern edge, and the publicity given to several smaller new developments in its suburbs.
"We have experienced an increase in both sales volumes and prices over the past year, although the relative affordability of Durbanville is still the major attraction, especially for growing families seeking spacious suburban homes close to excellent schools and other amenities."
There is especially good value to be found, he says, in more established central suburbs like Valmary Park and Durbanville Hills, where many buyers are currently seeking out sturdy "traditionals" to renovate and homes that have already been modernised at prices ranging from around R2,5m up to about R6,5m. "Homes here often have lovely views of the Durbanville Hills, and buyers will pay a premium for these. The upmarket Belvedere security estate, for example, has recently seen several buy-to-renovate transactions."
Other estates like Welgevonden, Avalon, Graanendal and the Durbanville Country Estate are also experiencing increased demand, says Louw, especially among families relocating from Gauteng and elsewhere. "However, about 43% of buyers in Durbanville now are under the age of 35, and the most active price range is R1,5m to R2,2m, which reflects the rocketing demand for the newer developments in areas like Pinehurst, Sonstraal Heights and Uitzicht.
"Young professionals are streaming to the area because it offers a great combination of reasonable proximity to workplaces in Cape Town and Century City and the opportunity to enjoy a great quality of life in a low-key environment and a wide range of outdoor activities in the surrounding countryside. And we expect this trend to grow once the improvements to the N1 freeway are completed and the area becomes even more accessible."
Durbanville's low crime rate and excellent medical facilities mean that it is also increasingly sought-after by retirees, he says, but sales in this age bracket are currently constrained by the lack of specialised retirement developments - and the fact that those who have raised their families here tend to stay on even after selling their big homes. About 23% of current owners are over the age of 65.
The history of Durbanville dates back to the earliest days of the Cape settlement when a meeting place known as Pampoenkraal grew up around some freshwater springs, farms were allocated and the first vineyards were planted. It got its current name in 1836, when Benjamin D'Urban was governor of the Cape, and today it has its own wine route, incorporating several new boutique estates and more than a dozen heritage wine estates including Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, D'Aria, DeGrendel, Dimersdal, Durbanville Hills, Hillcrest, Klein Roosboom, Meerendal, N'Tida, Phizante Kraal and Signal Gun.
Schools in the area include the highly-regarded Durbanville and Fairmont high schools, the Eversdal, Gene Louw and Durbanville primary schools, Durnbanville Preparatory and a host of private institutions such as Meridian Pinehurst, Curro Durbanville, Curro Castle, and a Reddam House primary school.
There is a large Mediclinic in Durbanville with many specialist doctors and there are very good GP, dental and other medical practices located throughout the suburbs. The Tyger Valley Academic hospital is also close by.
Durbanville has many convenience shopping venues including the Aurora, Willowbridge, Graanendal, Heritage and De Ville centres. The new Village Square centre is also due for completion shortly and it is easy for residents to access the Tyger Valley regional mall on Durban Road.
Fun things to do in Durbanville:
*Go cycling, hiking or riding in the nearby vineyards and hills. There are many well-established mountainbike routes and hiking trails, and equestrian facilities and stables abound on the outskirts of the area.
*Enjoy nature. Visit the 3,5ha Durbanville Rose Garden, which boasts more than 500 rose varietals, or the Durbanville Nature Reserve, which showcases the unique fynbos that grows in the area.
*Watch movies under the stars. The Meerendal wine estate and the Hillcrest wine and olive estate both have a Galileo open air cinema where you can watch a great movie on a warm summer evening. Shows run from November to April and you can buy VIP tickets that include blankets, backrests and a delicious picnic.
*Eat out in country style. Durbanville is surrounded by magnificent wine farms and many of these boast excellent restaurants. Some of the most popular are Bon Amis on Bloemendal Estate (Tel 021 976 2682); Cassia and Tables on N'Tida (Tel 021 976 1467) and Poplars on D'Aria (Tel 021 975 5736).
*Enjoy shopping with a difference. The Durbanville Craft Market takes place every first Saturday at the Rust-en-Vrede estate on Wellington Road, where there is also an art gallery, and there is a Slowfood market every Saturday at the Willowbridge shopping centre in Tygervalley. And for a real taste of country life, there is even a Kaap-Agri co-op on Wellington Road.
*Look at homes for sale. For more information about what properties are available, contact Chas Everitt Northern Suburbs on 021 915 4800
Author: Meg Wilson