Late afternoon on the canal at St Francis Bay.
Waterfront living, whether at the seaside, river’s edge or canal-front, remains sought after, so properties on the water are generally pegged at higher prices than other homes.
At St Francis Bay and Port Alfred on the Eastern Cape’s Sunshine Coast, marina living is popular, and Pam Golding Properties Port Alfred area principal Isobel Meyer says that properties on the Royal Alfred Marina have also maintained value in spite of the current tighter market.
“There will always be potential buyers wanting marina homes,” she says. “As the available space has been taken up at the Port Alfred Marina, prospective buyers have noted the value of investment here. Security is a major plus, especially for upcountry buyers who are accustomed to secure, complex living and regard security as one of their major requirements. This marina has single vehicle access, 24 hour guarded access control with regular patrol vehicles, monitored cameras and electric perimeter fencing.”
Meyer says black buyers entering the leisure homes market are showing marked interest in the Royal Alfred Marina. Most of them are established business people, often from upcountry but also from what was formerly known as the Border/Transkei areas and which now forms part of the Eastern Cape. They are looking at modern homes with clean lines as well as upmarket homes with good security as lock-up-and-go options, she says.
At St Francis Bay, Pam Golding Properties’ area principal Richard Arderne says the man-made canals are the lifeblood of St Francis Bay, and the reason many affluent Gauteng residents holiday there and have also invested heavily in property in the area.
“This trend has continued as over the past 20 years or more property has proven a sound investment, while living or holidaying on the water’s edge is a dream for many,” he says. “Most of our buyers are locals from the Eastern Cape region, with about 30 percent from Gauteng, and some from KwaZulu-Natal.
“It’s interesting to review the sale of homes on the canals in recent years. In 2011 there were a total of 17 sales on the canals comprising four plots, which sold for R1.1 million and R1.2m and two for R1.35m each; and 13 houses were sold – four for over R4m each and nine homes which sold for R4m or less.
“There have been 152 properties sold on the canals since January 2006 worth a total of R501m and of these, 45 were vacant plots, selling at an average price of R1.9m. If you exclude the 13 sales of north-facing Long Island plots (with an average price of R2.7m), the average plot price reduces to R1.2m.”
Arderne says nine canal houses have sold for over R6m – of which three were sold by Pam Golding Properties, including one at the highest price of R21m in 2008. The next highest price was R7.5m, also a PGP sale. Before 2006, no homes were sold anywhere in St Francis Bay for over R6m.
During the first quarter of 2012 PGP has sold six homes in the R1m to R2m price range as well as a house for R4m and 10 plots, mostly in the R160 000 to R300 00 price range and ranging up to R1.25m for a prime plot in St Francis Links.
Meyer says positive news for Port Alfred is that Genista Lifestyle Estate is going ahead as a lifestyle village, catering for all ages.
“This will provide a secure environment adjacent to the new Rosehill Mall and just down the road from the town and river. Spectacular river and sea views as well as scenic country inland views make this new development a very appealing option for any home buyer, particularly those looking ahead to future retirement.
“A ‘buy now for parents or your own retirement’ is a viable option with sound rental income achievable until the home is needed by the owner. There are homes available for all ages, with units including two-bedroomed cottages to three and four bedroomed freestanding full title homes,” she says.
“An addition to Genista Lifestyle Estate are sectional title apartment blocks, offering all the comfort amenities for those of more mature years and with occupation of these restricted to older residents. A frail care unit is also to be built as part of phase one of this development.”
Call Isobel Meyer on 046 6241977 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.