Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Finding Good Value in the City by the Sea; with Striking Natural Beauty, It's Easy to See Why Cape Town Is a Favourite. Cathy Hawker Finds the Best Homes by the Peaks and Sea

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Finding Good Value in the City by the Sea; with Striking Natural Beauty, It's Easy to See Why Cape Town Is a Favourite. Cathy Hawker Finds the Best Homes by the Peaks and Sea

Article excerpt

Byline: Cathy Hawker

CAPE TOWN combines a modern, world-class city with some of Africa's most striking geography. From the historic winelands where French Huguenots established vines 300 years ago to the view from Table Mountain, the natural beauty is intoxicating. Despite a stubbornly high crime rate, it's easy to see why this is a favourite city for North European visitors.

Cape Town has been unseasonably warm for the past three months but the property market has been chillier, not helped by the strengthening rand. "Banks are not lending at any level, the buy-to-let market has fallen away and prices are back to 2006 levels," says Andrew Smith of Chesterton Humberts. "There is excellent value here for cash buyers as sellers finally become more realistic about pricing."

THE ATLANTIC SEABOARD The best place to watch the sun set over Cape Town is Camps Bay, a village on the lower slopes of The Twelve Apostles mountain range, 15 minutes from the city centre. Once inaccessible and unfashionable, it is now a favourite with European second home owners, says Simon Kneel of Cape Portfolios.

"Camps Bay has three schools and mixes a good community feel with a Continental atmosphere thanks to bars and restaurants opposite a long sandy beach," says Kneel. In Camps Bay, Cape Portfolios has property from [pounds sterling]338,370 for a threebedroom duplex apartment with communal pool high above the sea. A four-bedroom house and pool with level gardens - rare in Camps Bay - and sea views is [pounds sterling]507,770. The home is ideal for a family and would, says Kneel, make a lucrative short-term rental.

Another 15 minutes along the coast, Llandudno is an upmarket and scenic beachfront community of just 300 homes surrounded by National Parks land. Cape Portfolios have a pretty clapboard house overlooking the sea with three bedrooms, newly reduced from [pounds sterling]914,740 to [pounds sterling]753,810. Close to the beach, a four-bedroom house with heated pool and views of the sea and mountains is [pounds sterling]592,465.

Other top tips include a twobedroom duplex house and garden in a small complex in the former fishing village Hout Bay. The 1,141sq ft recently renovated house is [pounds sterling]117,780. Or close to the city at Sea Point, a renovated Victorian cottage stuffed with character is [pounds sterling]317,620.

THE SOUTHERN SUBURBS Elegant thatched houses in spacious grounds and good private schools are the appeal of leafy Constantia, the Cape Town equivalent of England's Home Counties. Good value is a fourbedroom home with pool close to the shops and bars of Constantia Village reduced from [pounds sterling]550,540 to [pounds sterling]503,960. The house, for sale with Chesterton Humberts, also has a guest cottage. …

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