Best buys in the centre of child-friendly Knysna
KNYSNA is riding out the recession and there is increased interest from serious buyers, says Alan Evans, the principal of Seef f Properties Knysna.
“We tend to lag behind the big cities by a few months, so distressed sales have not yet had a major effect. But it is starting and the Knysna property market has not yet bottomed out. Knysna is a town where many people buy second homes, so some dwellings do need to be sold. Second-home markets also take longer to recover. This explains why we still have properties that are being picked up by cash buyers for good prices,” he says.
Evans says the best buys are in the centre of town, where owners appear to be hardest hit by the recession. Other good areas in which to invest at the moment are security estates such as Simola Golf and Country Estate, Thesen Islands, Pezula Estate and Belvedere.
“These areas are secure and most homes have good views, so property price increases will be achieved in the longer term,” he says.
“Recently, cash buyers have returned. These investors are taking full advantage of good deals and buying properties they can renovate, rent out or retain to sell once the market turns. There is a big d e m a n d f o r r e n t a l p r o p e r t y, although returns are not so good at t h e m o m e n t . H o w e v e r, m a n y investors are happy to receive just 5 percent, knowing that capital growth will come in the next few years.”
He says even though the recession is biting, the decline in Knysna prices has not been as severe as in other areas. Property prices in the town start at about R400 000 for a one-bedroom flat and rise to above R30 million for luxury homes in good areas.
Evans says Knysna is still a popular retirement area due to the relatively crime-free environment, natural beauty and mild climate.
“We still have a number of people who spend half the year here and the other half in the northern hemisphere. However, most of our sales in the last six months have been to J o h a n n e s b u r g , C a p e To w n o r Durban business executives,” says Evans.
He says Knysna has become more fashionable for younger families who see it as a quality-of-life investment.
“It has recently become popular with younger families who want security, and the number of schools has increased to keep up with this trend.”