Riebeek Kasteel offers residents a laid-back country lifestyle with established infrastructure so they get the best of both worlds, and they don’t have to travel far for big city offerings
Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, the Swartland village of Riebeek Kasteel lies in the heart of the Riebeek Valley on the slopes of Kasteelberg (Castle Mountain), surrounded by wheat fields, vineyards and olive groves.
Being so easily accessible from the city (though there are roadworks under way on the N7 to Malmesbury), it’s great for day trippers, and not impossible for commuters.
Ian and Lise Manley of Manley Communications have been residents for 14 years and will no doubt retire there, says Ian.
“It’s the authentic small town and close community that makes it attractive to us.
“We spend a lot of time on the road meeting clients in the city and in the Winelands, and it’s great to know that at the end of a pressured day one can truly exhale.”
As a visitor attraction and a function and wedding destination, the valley has about 13 wedding venues, more than 70 B&B/guesthouses, five wineries and several restaurants.
Renowned for its Shiraz red wines, it forms part of the Swartland Wine Route with wine and olive farms, and festivals.
Riebeek Kasteel attracts an eclectic mix of writers, painters, alternative lifestylers and other artists.
It provides the quintessential
laid-back rural lifestyle with good infrastructure, says Seeff agent Daniel Christen.
“This includes two primary schools (Riebeek Kasteel and Carnegie House) with many high schools in nearby Malmesbury, Wellington and Paarl. It has a healthy and wholesome environment, ideal for children who can play in the streets, cycle and enjoy a wonderful upbringing.”
Ian Manley says: “The local doctor knows everyone and their ailments, the local grocer gets whatever we need, and the local butcher makes droëwors to our specific recipe.
“The children walk to school to the local Montessori, Carnegie House. The yoga teacher moves into our home and looks after our pets when we travel. Arguably the best coffee in the Cape is to be found at our neighbour, Beans About Coffee (they deliver cappuccinos to our home every morning), and we walk across the village square for dinner at The Alchemist or Mama Cucina.
“It’s all a bit like Tuscany, Africa style. What’s not to love?”
Christen says the Riebeek Valley property market has seen overall positive growth, which occasionally spluttered due to high interest rates and most recently the recession, but continually recovers. The best sign of market confidence is repeat buyers, who own several properties and continue to invest.
“Property values grew by around 15.6% annually between 2010 and 2015,” he says.
There are no flats in Riebeek Valley and property options are mostly full title homes with prices ranging from about R2million.
The highest prices achieved are R6m, R6.6m and R7.3m. Rentals are in high demand.
“The buyer profile has changed dramatically as prices have increased above comfortable affordability. Since there are few work prospects in the area, buyers are mostly retirees or those wanting a country lifestyle, many of whom can work from home,” says Christen.