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CAPE TOWN: Our insider’s guide to Pinelands

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Convenient Pinelands is central with good access to the CBD and the airport, but is also green and leafy with plenty of open space

Pinelands is one of Cape Town’s most popular residential suburbs in which record house prices have been set this year.
The peaceful and primarily residential suburb is conveniently located and gives buyers bang for their buck.

Pinelands is known as a “Garden City” – a method of urban planning in which self-contained communities are surrounded by greenbelts.

Some call it the 15-minute suburb due to its locality, says Knight Frank’s property agent duo for Pinelands, David Sims and Christina van Schoor.

“The Pinelands area is popular for its community feel and its accessibility to many of Cape Town’s facilities,” says Sims.

Van Schoor says: “Property prices are favourable and both the plot and house sizes are preferred by family buyers.”

Geneé Rodinis, Pam Golding Properties agent for the area, says there “is a real sense of community in Pinelands. You will still find families walking in the streets and parks in the evenings”.

Many of the classic homes, dating to the 1920s and famous for their thatched roofs, are being renovated and updated to suit the needs of families and young professionals, says Rodinis.

Located near the N1 and N2, Pinelands is conveniently close to shopping centres, several schools and other educational institutions, including the University of Cape Town, and medical facilities such as Life Vincent Pallotti Hospital.

Pinelands is also one of Cape Town’s “dry” suburbs, meaning there are no bottle stores.

“Several retirement options have proved popular with many grandparents who stay on in the area after downscaling, thus creating the important family environment,” says Sims.

However, as its desirability has increased, Pinelands’ reputation for being elderly-centric has waned, although it retains a wonderful selection of popular retirement villages, says Rawson Properties sales partner for the area, Anthony McCarthy.

Despite this, recent buyers fall largely in the youth and middle-aged categories. English and Afrikaans remain the predominant languages, but residents are increasingly multicultural.

“The lifestyle in Pinelands definitely revolves around family and the peaceful setting of the many parks, the canal and the local shopping hubs,” he says. “Living here is convenient and easy – all is within quick reach, from the CBD just a 10-minute drive away to local sports facilities, schools, social clubs and gyms.”

Some of the thatched houses in the area are heritage homes. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Pinelands properties vary from the sprawling heritage homes with thatched roofs to multi-storied contemporary houses with generous gardens. There are also security estates and sectional title schemes available, providing attractive options for buyers in all phases of life.

Prices range from R1million to R1.6m for a two-bedroom, 80m² apartment, to between R3.5m and R3.9m for an average three-bedroom, two-bathroom home on an erf of around 700m². Larger properties are also available, with prices going up to R4.6m – excellent value when viewed in contrast with other Cape Town southern suburbs.

“Prices do vary depending on which part of Pinelands you look in,” says McCarthy. “Olde Pinelands – also known as Champagne or Royal Pinelands – is one of the more premium areas, with an abundance of original, thatched properties on lovely large erven. Forest Drive homes are also popular and have higher price tags as a result. Homes on the periphery of the suburb, on the other hand, can often be found for a relative bargain – they may be a little older, or a little smaller, but they are great options for budget-conscious buyers.”

While the market has slowed with the strain of South Africa’s recent economic and political instability, McCarthy says demand for property in Pinelands remains strong, and stock supply is steady.

Marcel’s places of interest and things to do 

“Living in Pinelands feels like you’re out in the suburbs away from the city, but still conveniently close to the CBD and airport. It has a lovely climate, drier than the rest of the southern suburbs, and not in the shadow of Table Mountain, so it’s warm in the late afternoons. It’s exceptionally beautiful and lush.”Magician Marcel Oudejans Picture: Supplied

1 Eat out

Magica Roma has been in Pinelands seemingly forever (close to 30 years), and is wildly popular for its authentic Italian fare. This one is all about homely satisfaction, the way it would be if we all had Italian mammas and nonnas, with huge portions and a loud, buzzing atmosphere. Diners drive from all over Cape Town to try this spot. 0215311489

2 Shop

Howard Centre is a central retail hub with banks, restaurants and shops. Oudejans recommends Smuuthies (0724160421) for its good, healthy food that’s convenient. He also shops at Mr Fish on Central Square: “It’s super-popular and has been around for ages,” he says. “The hake tails are the best.” 0215316692

The Wild Fig Restaurant in an 18th-century farmhouse, in nearby Observatory. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

3 Market

Back Area Gardens (072 696 3196) is where Oudejans and his family buy all their local fresh produce. It’s in the Oude Molen Eco Village (0214489442), a destination much loved by locals. Having evolved from an abandoned and vandalised hospital complex into a holistic, environmentally-friendly village, here one finds metal, wood and craft enterprises, social projects, food gardens, a public swimming pool and recreation facilities, a farm stall cafe, a horse-riding school, backpackers’ accommodation, as well as artists, musicians and film industry services.

4 Children

Trampolines are great for children, and adults can bounce off the stress on them. In the trampoline zone at be.UP Park, you can experience the thrill of jumping, twisting and turning, and flipping on the interconnected horizontal and inclined trampolines. You can also “clip and climb” on specially designed walls, challenge yourself in the aerial net cage, or let the little ones loose for fun in the maze of brightly coloured tubes, tunnels, ball ponds, trampolines and slides while you sit back to enjoy a refreshment in the cafe. 0870571400