Be my darling, small town begs
Experience the tranquillity of country living, close to the city
THE CAPE West Coast town of Darling has enjoyed another season of magnificent spring wildflowers, with visitors flocking to the town to enjoy the spectacular scenery and experience its country atmosphere.
Pa m Go l d i n g P r o p e r t i e s reports that the property market has been slow this year, with just seven properties changing hands across all agencies.
However, prices have settled at extremely competitive levels so the village now offers exceptional value for money, as well as a pleasant lifestyle.
PGP’s area manager for the West Coast, Stephanie WynneCole, says prices in the town start from around R250 000 for vacant plots and R675 000 for s mal l t wo - b e d r o o m s t a r t e r homes.
“You can buy a more substantial three-bedroom home for around R900 000 to R1.2 million,” she says, “and more expensive family homes cost anything from R1.4 million upwards. The top end of the market, including historical properties and luxury homes, can fetch prices of up to R2.5 million.”
Darling was formally established in 1853 on the farm Langfontein, and was named after Sir Charles Henry Darling, who was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the Cape in 1851.
The town is 75km from Cape Town along the West Coast ro a d, a nd i s s ur ro unded by hills of vineyards and wheatfields.
It is the economic hub of the area, with excellent infrastructure, supermarkets, banks, a clinic, a phar macy, doctors, schools, churches and sports facilities, including a nine-hole golf course and tennis and bowling clubs.
PGP’s MD for the Western C a p e met r o r e g i o n , L a u r i e Wener, says it is not widely known that Darling even has its own private school.
“ D a rl i n g C o l l e g e w a s founded 12 years ago and offers inde pendent schooling for about 100 children from Grades 1 to 7. The school has an excellent academic reputation and offers a full range of sporting a n d c u l t u r a l a c t iv i t i e s . We believe that this is a major drawcard for parents of young families who want to raise their children away from the big city, but don’t want to neglect their education.”
Many D a rl i n g r e s i d e n t s commute into Cape Town for wo rk , a n d t h e t ow n h a s attracted a large artistic and creative community. The hospitality sector includes a number of B&Bs and restaurants, including Evita se Perron, run by Pieter Dirk-Uys.
Another growing sector is the local wine industry – the Darling Wine Route has a reputation for good-quality wines a n d v a l u e f o r mo n e y f r o m estates like Groote Post, Cloof, Ormonde and Darling Cellars.
Other residents of Darling include some European “swallows” who spend summer in the town, as well as retired peop l e a n d e mpt y - n e s t e r s , f o r whom the opening of the Netcare private hospital in nearby Table View has made Darling a viable home.
The safe, extremely lowcrime environment has also helped attract some buyers from Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.
Wynne-Cole says a new small business centre is being built on the town’s main road, and a second centre is planned for the top section of this thoroughfare, potentially with a residential component above the shopping area.
“This is a welcome development for Darling,” she says, “as it will attract new business and create employment opportunities, and could also help alleviate the shortage of rental accommodation in the town.”
PGP’s current mandates in Darling include a three-bedroom house on a 1 600m² stand, which could be converted into a B&B, subject to planning approval. The price is R1.375 million.
PGP is also selling a fourbedroom house on a 1 110m² erf in the historical heart of Darling, priced at R1.8 million.
Call Sheena Boardman or John Nutter on 022 451 2188 for more information.
PEACEFUL: This four-bedroom house in Darling is for sale through Pam Golding Properties at R1.8 million.