Wild about stylish living in laid back Wilderness

WIDELY regarded as some of the most beautiful terrain the southern coastline of the Western Cape has to offer, property buyers and holiday makers alike are attracted to Wilderness because of its aesthetic appeal and the relaxed lifestyle, says estate agent Chris van der Merwe, whose office services Wilderness, Wilderness Heights, Hoekwil, Langvlei and the surrounding areas.

"In terms of the scenic beauty of the region, there are few other places in South Africa that can compete with the Garden Route.

"Spanning between Mossel Bay and Plettenberg Bay, the 150km stretch of coastline is renowned for being a visual wonder and it is easy to see why so many have chosen to call it home," says Van der Merwe. "Over the last year we have seen a growing number of property buyers in Wilderness looking to buy property because of the change of pace and ideal surroundings it offers."

According to property expert Adrian Goslett, scenic coastal areas offer a high quality-of-life and are therefore generally in high demand.

"Added to this, while sales may have been slower, very few coastal areas were greatly impacted by the economic turndown in terms of property prices. According to Lightstone data, freehold property prices in Wilderness were virtually unaffected."

Estate agent Cheryl Capsopoulos, says property prices in Wilderness range from R1.25-million to R10.8- million. She notes the most popular price range during 2013 was between R3-million and R5-million. However, the average price for all property sold in Wilderness during 2013 was around R1 285 319.

"There has been an increase in buyers looking to purchase holiday homes ranging from R1.5-million upwards for lock-up-and-go townhouses to large homes costing R5- million and above. There is also always a consistent flow of people wanting to relocate and retire in Wilderness. The average price of these properties is generally around the R2.5-million mark," says Capsopoulos.

"The most sought-after type of property in Wilderness during 2013 was freehold homes or smallholdings.

"Many of the buyers are from big cities and they want a completely different lifestyle to what they are used to in the crowded metropolitan areas where a large majority of people live in sectional title units. There are very few sectional title units available to buyers in Wilderness."

She points out that on top of most buyers' lists in the area must-have features include sea views, mountain views and access to the beach.

Capsopoulos says buyers are also interested in high quality finishes.

One of the properties currently on the market incorporates all of these sought-after features. On the market for R8.8-million, the three-bedroom home is located on the seafront in the Wilderness Garden Estate with private beach access and 24-hour security gate access.

Conveniently situated within walking distance of the Views Restaurant and Beauty Spa, the home features a gourmet open-plan kitchen, dining room and formal lounge, as well as a cinema, study and an undercover patio with built-in braai and swimming pool.