The Garden Route is proving to be a drawcard for South Africans looking for a more balanced and less stressful lifestyle.
The past few months have seen about 50 families moving monthly to the area, says Theresa Marais, Century21 principal in Knysna, Mossel Bay and Plett.
One reason behind people moving here from Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga is the increase in crime where they currently live. This year, the Garden Route will continue to attract semigrants, she believes. “It has easy access to an airport, less crime, natural beauty, good weather and affordable housing.
Those who will most likely look to relocate here are retirees and couples with young children. Sheena Mare, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s broker principal in Knysna and Sedgefield, agrees the Garden Route will become increasingly popular.
“It offers secure living in a beautiful environment with a wonderful lifestyle. The Garden Route is cosmopolitan and we have world-class facilities, golf courses and amenities, and a temperate climate.” While Knysna and Sedgefield are popular semigration options, she says sales here are not reflecting the number of queries as most buyers have to sell elsewhere before moving.
“We do have many retirees moving to Knysna and our retirement options are increasing,” Mare says. The Western seaboard has also seen a “considerable increase” in semigrants, says Dino Moulopoulos, Parklands North senior broker for Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate.
“This trend will continue into the new year due to the affordable price points within the region for first-time buyers and investors looking to purchase phenomenal rental yields,” he says.
The south peninsula offers good value for money and is close to a wide range of schools and commercial hubs, and is also an area of interest for semigrants, says Greeff Christie’s regional manager Jeremy Barnes. It offers estate living options which attract those relocating from other areas, many of whom are from Gauteng.
“Due to these buyers having sold in an upmarket suburb or secure estates, they want something similar, and the south peninsula can provide this.”
Cape Town’s southern suburbs and Atlantic and western seaboards are also popular for Gauteng semigrants, says the agency’s western seaboard senior broker, Dean Gabriels.
They offer the buyers good schools, gated estates and space. Lindsay Goodman, Greeff’s Hout Bay broker, says this area is “very affordable” for semigrants. The Winelands and west coast, including Yzerfontein and Langebaan, are also identified by Greeff agents as popular areas for semigrants.