Western Cape house buyers may find better value for money at the Whale Coast, Plettenberg Bay and the Garden Route than in often popular nodes such as the Atlantic Seaboard and Hout Bay.

Pam Golding Properties says there has been growing demand from South African buyers, with the majority emanating from Gauteng, for houses along the coast.

House price inflation in the Western Cape has risen about 10.35% this year, according to research by Lightstone. Many South Africans want to retire or just work in Cape Town, which has created "semigration" largely from Johannesburg and Pretoria.

The world-famous Whale Coast runs from Gordon’s Bay through Rooi Els, Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay, Kleinmond, Fisherhaven, Vermont, Onrus, Hermanus and Stanford and is also home to Arabella Golf Estate and Benguela Cove Lagoon and Wine Estate, both near Hermanus.

"Against the backdrop of an ongoing semigration of home buyers from Gauteng to the Western Cape, the severe shortage and ongoing tightening of stock in this region is seeing buyers prepared to pay top prices for older seafront properties. The resultant demand is highest for well located waterfront land and stands situated in secure estates," says Nicola Lloyd, manager of Pam Golding Properties Hermanus and Onrus.

"Paying R5m upwards, these buyers then either extensively renovate and extend or demolish and rebuild from scratch. There are numerous examples of this in Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay in particular, and this trend is likely to continue as the shortage increases."

In the face of a severe shortage of stock, a rock front plot of just over 1,000m² in Pringle Bay has sold for R4.4m while Pam Golding Properties recently sold a 1,000m² beachfront plot in Rooi Els for R3.8m.

Meanwhile, the Plettenberg Bay property market has surpassed the R1bn turnover mark for 2016.

Seeff Properties’ Kevin Engelsman, licensee for the area, says "this is indeed a milestone in view of the prevailing (weak) economic climate".

Seeff increased its unit sales by 62% from last year and the rand value of sales by 96%.

Aside from an influx of new residents as part of the migration to the Western Cape, there has been a notable increase in demand for holiday and retirement accommodation in the town.

Buyers and holiday makers from Johannesburg and Pretoria are especially interested.

"Plettenberg Bay now has a busy commercial centre, good infrastructure and schools. Main Street is lined with malls, boutiques, restaurants and other services. For everything else, there is the big Market Square Mall on Beacon Way," says Engelsman.

Plettenberg Bay is also close to Knysna, which suits work commuters. George, the main commercial centre for the Garden Route, is about an hour and a half away.

"The Garden Route property market in general remains upbeat. We are even finding Capetonians looking to move here now," says Engelsman.

More than half of all property in the area has been in the same hands for longer than 10 years.

Buyers are a wide mix, from local residential to holiday and second home buyers from across the country.

In the past few years, there has been an uptick in sales above the R5m to R10m price band. But there is a wide range of house prices in the area.

About 65% of all property in is full title, predominantly houses that range from modest and well-priced in the R1.2m to R2.2m range. Upmarket areas and larger houses tend to range to about R6m on average.

"There are also a number of security complexes and estates that offer a mix of property, priced from about R600,000 at the lower end. Luxury estate houses range upwards of R4m to about R8m on average. Luxury beach houses, especially those around Beachy Head, Whale Rock Ridge and Lookout Beach, can range from as much as R20m to R40m," says Engelsman.

"There is still plenty of vacant land for sale, often at reasonable prices starting from as low as R200,000 to R400,000."

House price inflation in the Western Cape has risen about 10.35% this year, according to research by Lightstone.

Adjusting for inflation, this translated into an increase in house prices of about 4.2% during the first nine months of the year.

Durban came second with 7.02%, followed by Nelson Mandela Bay with 5.39%. Johannesburg recorded only a 4% increase in house price growth.

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