EDGE OF THE COASTLINE
Some of the most attractive mountainside homes with views are in this naval town on the False Bay coast, which offers museums, historical sites and the largest colony of African penguins
NAMED after Simon van der Stel, Simon’s Town is the last town along the False Bay coastline before one heads through to Cape Point.
“It’s a naval town with lots of maritime history. The main road is lined with shops, museums and restaurants,” says lifelong resident Perry Ann Coon.
The neighbourhood offers visitors and locals diverse entertainment, such as guided walks exploring varied architecture in cobbled lanes, sailing, deep sea diving, kayaking, golfing and bowling.
Maritime museums put the past and present into context, from Simon’s Town’s origin as a naval base, to the current seat of the South African Navy.
For an informal slice of history, stroll around Jubilee Square with its tall palm trees and admire the statue of Able Seaman Just Nuisance, the famous Great Dane who served in World War II.
The yacht basin is a hive of activity at weekends and a favourite destination for holidaymakers who also enjoy the beaches, mountains and a cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Frolicking southern right whales visit False Bay waters during their calving season in spring, which is now, while nearby Boulders Beach is home to the world’s largest colony of African penguins.
The sheltered bay offered refuge to the Dutch and then the British naval fleets, which over time gave the town with its Victorian-style architecture a unique character which has been carefully preserved, says Seeff agent Eloise Day.
“The extensive Harbour Bay development recently opened with retail stores, restaurants, shops and offices; a medi centre will follow soon,” she says.
The Simon’s Town and nearby Glencairn areas offer a broad range of property to suit different buyers and budgets, with two favoured areas being the central town and the mountainside homes above the dockyard and further north, says Day.
“Simonskloof is perhaps most popular, being virtually windfree. With a possible exception of the Atlantic seaboard, no other Cape Peninsula suburb, other than some Fish Hoek mountainside properties, offers such attractive mountainside sites with such good views.”
According to Day, buyers range from those aiming to downscale to a seaside lifestyle from areas such as the southern suburbs, to those moving from farther within the Western Cape, Gauteng, and even KZN.
“We also have a few buyers from overseas looking for investment and lock-up-and-go houses and apartments.”
Prices of apartments range from R850 000 to R950 000, but Harbour Bay apartments have sold from R1.6m to R6m. Bayview Heights apartments have sold from R1.8m to R3.5m.
“Freehold family houses can still be found for R2.2m, but the average price is R3.5m in both Simon’s Town and Glencairn. However, there are properties priced above this, especially larger properties with stunning views.”