Best buys in the cen­tre of child-friendly Knysna

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

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.”

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