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In small towns across SA, from the once-sleepy Paternoster and Parys to pretentious Plett, housing sales records were shattered this year. Industry players call it the "zoom boom" — a relocation spree fuelled by pandemic-related remote working, allowing city-dwellers to trade their frenetic urban lifestyles for more tranquil surrounds.

Latest property sales data underscores the extent of the trek to the coast and countryside. The scenic Garden Route and its smaller towns and coastal villages, many of which have historically been considered holiday or retirement destinations, appear to have been major beneficiaries of the work-from-anywhere trend...

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