Scarborough – the unassuming coastal gem

Scarborough – the unassuming coastal gem

LIFESTYLE AND VALUE: Scarborough is one of the last remaining areas close to Cape Town that still offer an inimitable lifestyle for those looking for a change in pace but the window of opportunity is limited due to the suburb’s position.

During the last decade, rampant development has progressively transformed Cape Town’s property landscape with densification being the order of the day, but there are still one or two hidden gems like Scarborough which have retained their original character, offering an inimitable lifestyle and an attractive investment opportunity.

And, although neighbouring areas like Kommetjie and Noordhoek have been attracting far more attention from investors and developers along this tranquil coastline, the housing market in this unassuming seaside suburb has fared surprisingly well, achieving a solid 13.67 % increase in the median house price last year.

Citing Lightstone data, Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says: “After several years of little growth, in 2016 the median spiked by 68% from R1.67 million in 2015 to R2.81m and, despite the increasingly subdued economy, this traditionally slow market continued on its upward trajectory with the median price rising further to R3.2m in 2017.”

Geffen adds that of the 30 sales during the last 12 months ending March 31, 12 were in the R1.5m to R3m price band at an average sale price of R2.4m, while 18 homes were sold for more than R3m with an average selling price of R5.03m.

Elly Abels, Scarborough resident and area specialist for the group, attributes this largely to two key factors – the residents of this coastal suburb and the strong sense of community they have fostered as well as its idyllic position in an established conservation area.

“Most home owners here are permanent residents and almost 55% of all the current residents have lived here for 11 years or longer. Together they have formed the Keepers Neighbourhood Watch, Scarborough & Misty Cliffs Volunteer Firefighters and conservation groups and everyone is kept up to date through an email newsletter that comes out several times a week.”

Abels adds that although Scarborough has a quaint village feel, part of its charm is that it’s actually a very cosmopolitan area with residents from all walks of life, from iconic surf legends and artists to young families and empty nesters enjoying a slower paced life.

“One recent addition to the eclectic demographic is the growing number of professionals who work from home. There is increasingly good wifi reception in the area and a tranquil atmosphere with beautiful natural surroundings which makes for an excellent working environment.”

Abels believes that Scarborough’s market strength and growing property values are underpinned by its position next to the Cape Point Nature Reserve which guarantees little further development in the area.

“Once the last of the few remaining plots have been sold then it will be require some patience to acquire property in the area as people who move here tend to stay for many years.

“Vacant land is currently an excellent investment as plot prices haven’t risen in tandem with house prices – yet. During the last 12 months, 11 stands were sold at an average selling price of R1.45m of which eight were in the R800 000 to R1.5m price band with an average of R1.21m and three sales in the R1.5m to R3m bracket achieved an average sale price of R2.1m.

“There are also a handful of unrenovated beach shacks still to be had but they are a rarity soon to be extinct.”

Abels concludes: “Scarborough truly is the perfect location for those who want to escape city living and enjoy a more peaceful lifestyle. Although an array of amenities including malls are only 15 minutes away, there are only a couple of restaurants, a deli and one small convenience store for essentials in the village so it really does feel off the beaten track.”