Due for completion by the end of 2018, the widening of the N7 highway to a dual carriageway from Cape Town and ultimately through to Namibia has already placed the Swartland town of Malmesbury firmly on the map for home buyers, having shortened the trip from the Mother City by about a third, says Annien Borg, MD for Pam Golding Properties in the Boland and Overberg regions.

“The drive to the city now takes only about 25 to 30 minutes, which considerably improves accessibility to and from the town, making it even more attractive to professional first time and family buyers who can commute to places of work in Cape Town while enjoying living in a wholesome and secure country environment.”

Malmesbury is also only about 20 minutes from Durbanville, a significant commercial hub in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs. “In fact,” says Borg, “we believe Malmesbury is about to become a new growth node, attracting an increasing number of home buyers.

“Most of our home buyers are those relocating here from Cape Town, with some from the rest of the country. Malmesbury is ‘pure platteland’, a farming community which speaks to city dwellers. The town is clean, safe and in close proximity, which means it’s also appealing as a weekend retreat.

“This is a friendly, welcoming town where people still smile at each other in the street, greeting total strangers who pass. Mostly Afrikaans-speaking, the key appeal for living in Malmesbury is the family lifestyle, tranquillity, country ambience, the winelands and security. Many farmers have retired in the town while their children run the farms. We have people living in Malmesbury from generation to generation but the past 20 years has also seen many new residents moving in from around South Africa.”

With a high standard of schools and good infrastructure, Malmesbury is the largest municipal area in the Western Cape and offers abundant economic opportunities, making it an ideal permanent base for those involved in the farming industry and associated or other businesses.

Says Pam Golding Properties agent Elize van der Merwe: “Apart from an existing hospital and extensive medical facilities, Malmesbury’s shopping amenities will soon receive a boost with the planned development of a new approximately 16 500sqm community shopping centre next to a new Netcare hospital which is to be built within the town’s new retirement village – Fonteine Village. 

“Alternatively, another, larger mall is being proposed for a site adjacent to the N7 which formerly accommodated Malmesbury’s show grounds and is now tenanted by a private school. If and when the larger mall development takes place, the private school is expected to relocate to an area allocated next to the new Netcare hospital.”

She says national retailers such as Woolworths, Clicks and Pick n Pay as well as a number of restaurants have all expressed interest in the new retail developments.

“While these developments bode well for housing demand in the town, the market is already very active with a high demand for stock. We are experiencing ongoing, increasing interest and demand, particularly in the price range between R1.2 million and R1.75 million. This has created a shortage of available homes for purchase, especially for young families, who prefer to stay here to enable them to place their children in good schools instead of growing up in the city. With the N7 being a safe commuter highway, we are already seeing an additional groundswell of buyers flowing into Malmesbury.”

Currently, house prices in Malmesbury start at R650 000 for a two bedroomed flat, or from R800 000 for a two bedroomed house in a suburb such as Dalsig. Three bedroomed townhouses start at an entry level of R1.65 million while four bedroom houses with a swimming pool are priced between R1.75 million and R2 million. 

At the higher end of the market properties are priced from R2.7 million to R3.7 million. These include luxury homes in the established Mount Royal Golf and Country Club Estate, where about five properties are for sale between R3.5 million and R4.7 million. Says van der Merwe: “We sold nine properties here in the last three months, with another seven property transactions on the estate currently in the process of being finalised.

“We are also busy negotiating with different developers regarding a sizeable new townhouse development which is on the cards for early 2016, and have currently identified two potential locations. Although our housing market missed the boom period in the market prior to the recession, we are making up for it now and enjoying good capital growth. In a market very attractive to investors and experiencing a shortage of stock, developers are bullish and seeking to acquire land for housing development.”

The Fonteine Village retirement development, marketed by Pam Golding Properties together with the developer, is already very popular, attracting retirees countrywide but also older local inhabitants who are putting their existing homes on the market in order to buy a home there.

Over and above this, PGP also markets lifestyle properties in Malmesbury on larger erven from 5ha up to 7.5ha priced mainly between R2 million and R4 million.

Unsurprisingly rental properties in Malmesbury are very scarce with good quality three and four bedroom homes in good areas such as Tafelzicht, Panorama, Bergzicht, Amandelrug, De Wingerd and Mount Royal Golf and Country Club Estate highly sought after. “This demand is driving up rental market values. The average rental price for a three or four bedroom house with at least two bathrooms and double garage varies from R8 500 to R12 500 per month. 

“With the large correctional facility, Bokomo and Sasko group with associated businesses, Kaap-Agri head office and Raiel headquarters in Malmesbury, there is a constant need for rental and for sale properties. With growing awareness of the many advantages of living here, we anticipate this trend to continue to increase,” adds van der Merwe.

For further information contact Pam Golding Properties Malmesbury on 022 4871366 or email Elize van der Merwe on elize.vandermerwe@pamgolding.co.za or telephone 082 781 8094.