The state of the municipality does matter

The state of the municipality does matter

Aerial view of the Mossel Bay peninsula on the Garden Route.

Mossel Bay is currently riding high on the news that it has been ranked as the number one municipality in South Africa – and that is bound to give the local property market a boost.

That’s the word from Charles de Kock, owner of the Chas Everitt International franchise in Mossel Bay, who says: “Everyone wants the municipal services they pay for to be provided and the area they live in to be properly managed, which is why the performance of local authorities is becoming an increasingly important location consideration for SA home buyers.

“They want reliable access to things like health services, libraries and sports facilities as well as good schools and public transport, and they don’t want to be left in the dark or without water because the municipality has failed to maintain or repair its infrastructure.

“In short, the buyers are going where the service is good and they reckon the municipal utility charges and rates to be fair.”

Indeed, he says, a preference for environments that are perceived as safer, cleaner and better run than many city suburbs has been manifesting for quite some time in the familiar movement of families to certain country and coastal towns while their breadwinners become weekly “super-commuters”. In Mossel Bay this has already been apparent since the town was named Kwela Town of the Year two years ago.

“It has also driven the increasing popularity of large and well-run security estates which are often effectively independent of whatever services their local authorities may or may not provide.”

However, De Kock says, the latest ranking of SA’s municipalities by Good Governance Africa (GGA) is likely to leapfrog Mossel Bay – and local estates like Pinnacle Point and the Mossel Bay Golf Estate – well ahead in the minds of home buyers and investors looking for a great place to live.

The town has just been ranked number one on GGA’s latest Government Performance Index, which compares SA’s 213 municipalities in terms of administration, economic development and service delivery.

“This means it has been judged to have sufficient staff, who are well-qualified for their positions as well as good financial governance. It is also attractive in terms of the economic opportunities and ‘habitation’ it offers, and performs best when it comes to providing water, sanitation, education, electricity, housing, refuse removal, health facilities and police coverage to its residents.

“That’s quite a recommendation, especially considering the problems that many other local authorities are having at the moment, and we have already seen an increase in the number of enquiries coming in from buyers who wish to relocate here, as well as investors who foresee a rise in the demand for long-term rentals.”

And the good news, he says, is that Mossel Bay has homes for sale to suit all types of buyers. “There are one-bedroom apartments available here from around R375 000, two-bedroom units from around R500 000, and three-bedroom units from around R900 000.

“Townhouse prices start at about R1 million for three-bedroom units and range up to about R4,5m for luxury units right on the beachfront in Dana Bay or Pinnacle Point Estate. Prices for suburban family homes with three bedrooms and two bathrooms start at around R1,1m and those for estate homes range from around R1,9m in Mossel Bay Golf Estate all the way up to about R8m in some of the newer developments like Village on Sea, Moquini and Springerbaai.”