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Worst is over in Overberg market

Property24
Worst is over in Overberg market


After one of its quietest months ever, the property market in the Overberg region is making a comeback with measurably rising interest in its new residential developments.



That's according to Strepies van Wyk, principal of the local franchises of Realty 1 International Property Group in the Overberg region, which includes Agulhas, Napier, Bredasdorp and Struisbaai and Arniston.

Van Wyk says both investor and end-user demand is driving market activity, with strong take-up of new units which range in price from R360k to well over R3m and cater for buyers at all stages of life.

Those in their fifties wanting a safe and serene lifestyle are showing keen interest in the new and unique Oude Weelde residential complex in Napier, she says. After the renovation of the existing "tuishuis" into four standalone units with optional services, construction on the second phase, which comprises six character cottages, has started.

Priced from R295k, the homes offer not only a high degree of security and affordability but also easy access to Cape Town, Hermanus and Arniston. Napier, known as the gateway to the Cape Agulhas region, has long been a sought-after breakaway spot owing to its proximity to the Mother City and its rural lifestyle, she continues.

"It is now a melting pot of cultures, skills and excellent real estate investment opportunities that is also relevant to retirees wanting a serene and safe lifestyle."

Bredasdorp, the administrative capital of the Overberg, has also entered the new development market in a big way with a unique project called De Oude Arena.

To be built on the historic Bredasdorp showgrounds where the first agricultural show was held in 1901, the 93-unit development will take residents back in time, says Van Wyk. She paints a picture of upmarket yet rural architecture, narrow cobblestone paths, off-street entrances and olive trees.

The showground stable quarters are destined to become 48 duplexes, while the grounds have been set aside for the construction of 45 simplexes. To date, underground services have been installed and off-plan sales are taking place from the site office.

In keeping with its reputation as one of the province's most important grain producing regions, the architect Chris de Hart has incorporated a "silo" feel to the building style of the complex, which will offer 11 different designs in all. She says this will ensure that each house is unique in terms of appearance and in so doing, recreate an "old street feeling" reminiscent of the past. The historical appeal of the site will be further captured by its own small museum.

Van Wyk reports strong outsider interest in the development, with passers-by often stopping and then spending an hour or more on the site. Impromptu buyers probably account for around 30% of our unit sales at this point in time, she says.

Struisbaai and Agulhas are also active, particularly at the extreme ends of the market.

Van Wyk says buyers in the prime range are after position rather than property type and spending up to R4,5m for sea-facing homes. Those with limited budgets are shopping for small flats, which start from R595k.

Upbeat about the prospect of adding new stock to her books, Van Wyk says there are a number of new developments in the pipeline with launches starting from early in 2008.

Mixed farming enterprises are also in high demand in the Overberg. She says "wheat, meat, wool, wine and ostrich farming is all doing extremely well", with the few farms that come up for sale, selling quickly and mostly to local farmers.

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