INTERNATIONAL – Being limited in supply and therefore generally highly sought after, residential waterfront property enjoys high demand and commands a premium price according to Pam Golding Properties.
However, not all prime waterfront property is ocean-facing – there are equally idyllic locations which abound that arguably offer even more, such as homes situated in diverse destinations in South Africa, along the canals of St Francis Bay and Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape, on Knysna Lagoon on the Garden Route or on the Vaal and Hartbeesport Dams.
There is something beguiling and soothing imbued by large, serene bodies of water. Gazing out across the water is both compelling and relaxing – particularly for city dwellers escaping the hustle, bustle and noise of urban living – and it seems to soothe the soul. And apart from providing an ideal space to kick back and relax, such locations also afford a broad array of water sport and leisure activities which are hard to beat," said Ling Dobson, Pam Golding Properties area principal in Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.
Dobson added, "As a result, we find that buyers in the Knysna area generally seek properties with water frontage. In high demand is Thesen Island, which has homes situated right on the water canals as well as on what we call the Parklands, which is in the centre of the residential estate and as termed, is surrounded by parklands and not directly on the wate".
As it’s highly sought after, Thesen Island is an area where homes sell over and over again and where the growth in property values is exponential. Here there are both freehold and sectional title homes, priced from around R3.5 million-R4 million upwards.
Dobson said, "Many of these buyers are from the metropolitan areas of Johannesburg and Cape Town, either relocating permanently or acquiring a holiday home with the benefit of being within a security estate. Living on the canals and edge of the Knysna estuary lends itself to endless water sports."
A 50-minute drive from George, Thesen Island includes numerous facilities including three beaches, clubhouse, floodlit tennis courts, squash court, playground for young children, cricket nets, 18-hole putting green, giant chess board, a maze and a bird sanctuary, while Harbour Town is in walking distance with a host of great restaurants and shopping.
In St Francis Bay, an upmarket paradise on the coast about 90km from Port Elizabeth, there is a good demand for homes on the canals, especially vacant land, and a large number of local builders are constructing new homes.
Richard Arderne, Pam Golding Properties area principal said, "Most of our buyers are from Gauteng and Port Elizabeth, with some from Cape Town and Durban. Houses with canal frontage achieve much higher prices than those without, being priced from around R5 million to over R20 million compared with between R2 million and R4 million for a three- to four-bedroom house off the water. Vacant land on the water ranges from R1.5 million to around R5 million for plots averaging at 900sqm".
The canal is home to some of the most luxurious designer residences in the Eastern Cape, with private beaches, jetties, outside entertainment areas, large sparkling pools, multiple open-plan living areas and scenic, uninterrupted views.
On the Vaal dam, which attracts home buyers mainly from the greater Gauteng, Pretoria and East Rand areas, all within 90 minutes’ drive, purchasers are drawn by the fact that this is renowned as the inland sailing mecca of South Africa, with eight yacht clubs and marinas around the dam catering for everything from small sailing dinghies to ocean-going yachts. The Vaal Dam also caters for all types of water sports, from power boating and jet skiing to kite surfing and paddling.
Currently, says area principal Phil Medlock, Pam Golding Properties is marketing land in waterfront residential developments Shearwater Estate and Ambermere Estate, with two hectare serviced stands starting from R300 000.
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