Pinelands becoming a firm favourite among young and family buyers

In Cape Town – where roads are congested, open space is rare and homes and plots are becoming smaller and smaller – it’s little surprise that Pinelands property is becoming a firm favourite with family buyers.

Known for its spacious grounds, excellent schools, charming thatch-roofed homes and abundance of towering pine trees, the neighbourhood is a veritable oasis of suburban calm.

As its desirability has increased, Pinelands’ reputation for being elderly-centric has also diminished, although it retains a selection of popular retirement villages. Rawson Properties sales partner for the area, Anthony McCarthy, says recent buyers fall largely in the young and middle-aged categories. English and Afrikaans remain the predominant languages, but residents are increasingly multicultural.

“The lifestyle in Pinelands definitely revolves around family and the peaceful setting of the many parks, the canal and the local shopping hubs,” he says. “Living here is convenient and easy – everything is within quick reach, from the CBD a 10-minute drive away to the local sports facilities, schools, social clubs and gyms.”

Pinelands properties vary from sprawling heritage homes with thatched roofs to multi-storey contemporary houses with generous gardens. There are also security estates and sectional title schemes available, providing attractive options for buyers in all phases of life.

Prices range from R1 million to R1.6m for 80m2 two-bedroom apartments, to between R3.5m and R3.9m for an average three-bedroom, two-bathroom house on an erf of around 700m2. Larger properties are also available, with prices averaging up to R4.6m – excellent value when viewed in contrast with other Cape Town southern suburbs.

“Prices do vary depending on which part of Pinelands you look in,” says McCarthy. “Old Pinelands – also known as Champagne or Royal Pinelands – is one of the more premium areas, with an abundance of original, thatched properties on lovely, large erven. Forest Drive homes are also very popular, and have higher price tags as a result. Homes on the periphery of the suburb, on the other hand, can often be found for a relative bargain – they may be a little older, or a little smaller, but are great options for budget-conscious buyers.”

While the market has slowed with the strain of South Africa’s recent economic and political instability, McCarthy says demand for property in Pinelands remains strong, and stock supply is steady.

“The most popular properties are family homes with good sized gardens and more than one bathroom,” he says. “Garden cottages have also started to become a very common buyer ‘must have’, and have been known to make or break sales in the area.”

According to McCarthy, the sectional title market in Pinelands is particularly active at present, as buy-to-let investors capitalise on the growing demand for rental accommodation from young professionals.

“It’s very convenient for employees of the financial services companies that are based in Pinelands to live in the area,” he says. “They are generally great tenants, with stable incomes and good career prospects, which makes buy-to-let properties a relatively safe and profitable bet for investors.”

Rental returns aside, Pinelands properties are still appreciating above inflation on average, with growth of around 8% to 10% a year. As for market movement, McCarthy says homes listed at market-related prices still sell relatively quickly, but overpriced properties are lingering on the market for months.

“We’re no longer in a situation where demand outweighs supply by a large margin,” he says, “which makes it essential for sellers to market their homes intelligently and at fair prices. Buyers are there, but they’re a lot more cautious than they were a couple of years ago. Sellers need to be aware of this dynamic and remain competitive to sell well.”