Said Bakker: "Five years ago tough economic trading conditions impacted very negatively on the leisure property market, and sadly for some, this dream was no longer possible. The result is that many vacant stands are now being marketed for less than they were acquired for before the monetary shift in 2007/8.
"Positively, however, it's interesting to note that following a lull during the economic recession, over the last two years, there has been a surge in the construction of homes in the town of Sedgefield with a return to more normal levels of building activity.
The builders are obviously smiling, as are the new homeowners. After all, they now live in the heart of the Garden Route National Park, and the heart this certainly is. Forty minutes' drive to the east and one has travelled through Knysna for lunch in Plett (Plettenberg Bay) and just half an hour in the opposite direction and one passes the impressive Garden Route Mall and is ready to board a flight at George Airport."
Bakker said that from 2008 to two years ago, hardly any new homes were built in Sedgefield. "Then it was as if the town took on a new burst of energy. A forward-thinking young entrepreneur launched a business called Afroventures and chose Myoli Beach as headquarters, bringing together a variety of adventure events and activities.
With some smart e-marketing and attending the right eco-venture and tourism exhibitions and indabas the message went out that Myoli Beach was a new hot spot. And, suddenly, about two years ago, the place was packed with visitors - including numerous, upwardly-mobile, adventure-seeking holidaymakers in the age group from the late 20s to early 40s, who have injected new life into the area."
He added that Myoli Beach has become so popular it seems to the beach destination in the southern Cape. "There's no doubt that the arrival of the holiday adventure business has helped fuel two exceptionally busy summer seasons from a tourism and visitor perspective, leading to increasing awareness and exposure for Sedgefield and its many attributes. Furthermore, we have seen a marked extension of the summer season."
Bakker said that, according to Neels Swanepoel, proprietor of the only restaurant in Myoli Beach - the Pilipili Beach Bar and Restaurant, there has been an impressive 50% annual growth in visitor numbers since 2010. "The season starts early December and now extends to the yearly Slow Festival on the Easter weekend. Locals tend to also stay a few days longer than a few years ago. Sedgefield has really "arrived" as one of the destinations on the Garden Route.
"We are also seeing a growing trend towards Gauteng buyers relocating their families here while the breadwinners commute to business each week and then return to an appealing coastal lifestyle at weekends. The building boom has had 17 new homes currently under construction in Sedgefield with others soon to follow. On the ocean's edge or overlooking the dunes, the level of capital investment in building new homes augurs very well for this area in the future, with some buyers spending way over the R3 million mark on building their dream home - either for permanent residence or a holiday home," continued Bakker.
"Currently there are vacant stands on the market that range in size from 600 to 1900m2 and are well priced at pre-2007 prices, from around R220,000 to R3 million. Examples of opportunities presently available for purchase are some very keenly priced erven in Cola Beach, adjacent to Myoli Beach. For R435,000 you can acquire an 880m2 stand in a green belt and situated in a quiet close (or cul de sac) on the edge of the valley area of Cola Beach. This is currently the best buy.
"Or R950,000 will fetch a superb view stand of 794m2 overlooking Myoli Beach with breathtaking views to the Outeniqua Mountains and the ocean. Some of the homes are truly beautiful and could feature in many a glossy magazine."
Bakker said that completed homes available to purchase through Pam Golding Properties include four sectional title units in Myoli Beach, each with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and two lounges and each priced at R1.1 million and three full title homes in a soon-to-be-launched, small secure complex just a five-minute stroll from Myoli Beach. The latter development is architect designed with options for purchasers to choose the number of bedrooms and garages and which fittings they prefer to suit their own individual requirements. Basic, but very stylish, the homes in this new development are each double-storey with one bedroom, garage and private garden, priced from R850,000.