Industry & Real Estate

Wednesday, 23 May 2007 16:38

Home buyers rediscover the rural charm of Noordhoek

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{pp}Noordhoek, once perceived as being “too far away” from the city centre,  is being rediscovered by many home buyers as a little piece of paradise in an easily accessible location, says Dale de Ridder, the area specialist for Dogon/Group Properties.

De Ridder says with few large expanses of land now left for subdivision and development – only two of the original family-owned farms that could potentially be developed still remain - houses in the area are in greater demand than ever before, and properties have recently been sold at the asking price within a day of coming onto the market.
Among the buyers moving to the area are young families from the southern suburbs, who want more room to breath, she says. Many young couples are also looking for more rural surroundings where their children can enjoy a similar lifestyle, including outdoor pursuits such as horseriding and surfing, to that which they experienced while growing up.

The different zonings allocated to different areas in Noordhoek have prevented overdevelopment, and the area has retained its country charm and natural beauty. “In certain parts, stands can’t be below two acres and in other parts one-acre is the minimum size,” she says. “Even in the newer areas of  Belvedere and Noordhaven, plots have a minimum size of 1 000m².”

She says that in these new areas the developers have included design manuals into the sales contracts, and all houses built must adhere to the same architectural style. “The homes have a Cape Country or Cape Vernacular theme, but many owners have opted for hi-tech interiors and modern interpretations of the designs.”

Houses in these developments are sought after, and sell very quickly, especially as they don’t come on the market that often, she says. “The houses in Noordhaven are all angled to face the sea, with a verandah for outdoor living and entertaining. As the patios and living areas generally face west, they are generally protected from the prevailing south-easter in the summer.”

With prices rising steeply in recent years, as they have done in other parts of Cape Town, especially along the Atlantic Seaboard, the entry-level prices for the area are now generally beyond the reach of first-time buyers. “But many people who dream of living in Noordhoek, will go to surrounding areas like Milkwood park, where they can still get a home for under R2-million,” she says.

In  Noordhoek, the entry level price for a house on a 1000 m² would start from close to R3-million. “And a property on five acres of land on a private estate, would usually be priced from six to nine million rand upwards.”

De Ridder says many more people are coming to recognise that these prices still represent excellent value. The exceptional beauty of the area and country lifestyle have attracted not only dozens of South Africans, but also Dutch , German and English people, a sprinkling of Americans, and people from other parts of Africa, as well as returning South African expatriates, all of whom now call Noordhoek home.

She says many people fall in love with the area at first sight, including her Dutch husband Hans, who decided to buy their current home after one viewing at the end of a week-long holiday in South Africa a few years ago, although he’d had no intention of buying here at the time.

Dale says that residents often become fiercely protective of Noordhoek’s character and atmosphere, and are loathe to move away. “A lot of people who sell in Noordhoek buy another house in the area that better suits their current needs. People with young families may start out in a small home, then move to a bigger property because their children have taken up riding and they need space to stable a horse. When the children eventually leave home to go to university or to work abroad, the parents may decide to downsize again. It’s known as ‘the Noordhoek shuffle.’”

The drawcards in the area include excellent restaurants, one featuring the talents of top chef Frank Dangeroux of Uitsig fame, the close proximity of Long Beach shopping mall and the new developments at Steenberg, located just over the mountain on the Ou Kaapse Weg, just minutes away.

The city centre is also within easy reach. “Some Noordhoek residents who lead stressful, hectic work lives in the city centre have told me that when they drive over the mountain and come down Silvermine Road, the sight of beach and the whole valley unfolding before them instantaneously takes away all their stress.”

De Ridder, who has been in property for the past 11 years, says she could never contemplate leaving the area. “Having grown up in this valley, where I spent an idyllic childhood, I feel physical and emotional ties to the area.”

Her childhood memories are tied inextricably to the area whose development she has watched with interest since the ’60s. She remembers a time when ‘Lake Michelle’ was still a salt pan, there was a local drive-in, and watched the filming of the first big movie production, Ryan’s Daughter, on Noordhoek beach when she was very young. Even now, the area is so much her ‘home turf’ that she not only knows the local residents, but even the names of their dogs.

Contact Details:
Dale de Ridder on 072 223 8046 or
Dogon/Group Properties’ Sea Point office on 021 433 2580.
17 Regent Road
Sea Point, Cape Town
South Africa
Tel: +27 21 433 2580

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