Local and international buyers are rediscovering South Africa’s beautiful small towns with their often top-quality lifestyle, and locations not too far from bigger towns or cities, says Ian Badenhorst, MD for Seeff Country and Karoo.
These towns offer a rural lifestyle, yet with access to excellent schools and big town facilities not too far away. Prices of goods are often cheaper, and residents have access to fresh produce and meat, weekend markets and other tourist attractions. Beautiful scenery, often with country and mountain views, access to wine and olive farms, and more are part of why these towns are so popular, says Badenhorst.
Seeff highlights ten of the most in-demand towns and villages. Most have enjoyed excellent price growth over the last 5-10 years. That said, for people moving here, the investment is about more than just bricks and mortar, they are investing in a better quality life, says Badenhorst.
Ranked by average price, top towns and villages include Franschhoek, Nottingham Road in the Midlands, St Francis Bay on the Eastern Cape coast, Langebaan and Yzerfontein on the West Coast, Kenton on Sea on the Eastern Cape Sunshine Coast, Hartbeespoort in the Magaliesberg area, and Swellendam, Napier and Ladismith on the Western Cape countryside.
Most in-demand Small Towns - Ave Price Growth over 5 and 10 years
Franschhoek – Cape Winelands
4 bedroom house for sale in Franschhoek | R11,950,000 | Click here for the full listing details
An easy drive from Cape Town and the airport, Franschhoek is sought-after for its picturesque mountains and prestigious wineries like La Motte, Backsberg, Babylonstoren, Boschendal, and Haute Cabrière. It offers a chic cosmopolitan lifestyle with restaurants, art galleries, and exquisite residences, drawing both local and international buyers.
Expect to pay upwards of R4 million to R8 million, and at the top end from R18 million to R100 million-plus.
Nottingham Road – Natal Midlands
Renowned for prestigious schools like Michaelhouse and Hilton College, this village offers proximity to the Drakensberg and Midlands Meander. Just 1.5 hours from Durban and 4.5 hours from Johannesburg, Peter and Kari Green, Seeff licensees, say it is a sought-after weekend retreat and second-home haven. Activities span golf, cycling, hiking, equestrian pursuits, fly-fishing, and more, complemented by various amenities. The locale boasts an array of stunning properties, estates, smallholdings, and farms.
Expect to pay R3 million to R9 million on average, up to just under R100 million at the top end.
St Francis Bay – Eastern Cape Coast
3 bedroom apartment for sale in Port St Francis | R2,395,000 | Click here for the full listing details
The pretty waterside holiday village, located near Jeffreys Bay, comprises a series of man-made canals and waterways, ideal for boating, swimming, paddling and other water sports. Desiree Ferreira, Seeff licensee says there is a marina with homes on the water, each with its own mooring along with a choice of properties including the St Francis Links golf estate which attract buyers from all over.
Expect to pay R3 million to R6 million on average, and at the top end to about R30 million.
Langebaan – West Coast
5 bedroom house for sale in Myburgh Park | R4,820,000| Click here for the full listing details
A quick 90-minutes from Cape Town, this town has seen significant growth. Attractions include the lagoon, water sports, Mykonos, restaurants, schools including Curro, and shopping with a regional mall also close by in Vredenburg. Buyers are from Gauteng and Cape Town, often owning second homes or retiring here, say Jaco and Tracey-lee Coetzee from Seeff who have achieved sales of up to R8.25 million in Calypso Beach and R10.8 million in Paradise Beach.
Expect to pay upwards of R1.7 million to around R8 million, with top end ranging to about R30 million.
Yzerfontein – West Coast
6 bedroom house for sale in Jakkalsfontein | R13,995,000| Click here for the full listing details
The quaint village is just over an hour from Cape Town and popular due to its unspoilt coastal lifestyle with no commercialisation. Buyers come from all over, but especially the Cape, says Michelle Livingstone-Louw from Seeff. Seeff concluded sales of up to R6.8m and R6.35m in Yzerfontein, and R6.85m and R7.2m in Jakkalsfontein.
Expect to pay upwards of R2.95 million to R8 million on average, with top homes ranging to just under R30 million.
Port Alfred – Eastern Cape Sunshine Coast
5 bedroom house for sale in Royal Alfred Marina | R6,750,000| Click here for the full listing details
Port Alfred is midway between Gqeberha and East London and a great base for digital nomads, retirees and families relocating to the coast, says Simon Olivier, Seeff’s licensee. The town lies around the Kowie River mouth with regular regattas and riverboat cruises available. There are excellent leisure facilities such as hiking trails, nature walks, excellent golfing, and medical and shopping amenities along with hotels and numerous restaurants
Expect to pay upwards of R1.1 million to R6 million on average, and at the top to around R15 million.
Hartbeespoort – Magaliesberg area
4 bedroom house for sale in Melodie | R2,950,000| Click here for the full listing details
Close proximity to Johannesburg and Pretoria and a choice of estates with luxury homes makes the town a popular choice for second homes and semigration buyers especially from the Joburg/Pretoria metros, says Donna Nass, Seeff’s licensee. Attractions include the Magaliesberg Mountains, dam restaurants, shops and more, and you are quite close to the big cities as well.
Expect to pay upwards of R2.2 million to R6 million to around R40 million for a top end home.
Swellendam - Overberg
3 bedroom house for sale in Suurbraak | R2,200,000| Click here for the full listing details
Val Anderton and Marinda Roux, estate agents with Seeff, say the scenic town is a popular stopover on the way to the Garden Route. Buyers have been flocking here from Joburg, Pretoria, KZN and the Cape, and include high earning young families looking for the perks of a small town with excellent schooling. Properties between R2m and R3m are scarce while vacant land prices have increased by up to 40% due to scarcity. Smallholding and farms are also popular.
Expect to pay upwards of R2 million to R5 million on average and upwards of R10 million to around R40 million for agri properties.
Napier – Overberg
Located at the foot of the Soetmuisberg, the village offers clean air and a country lifestyle with low crime and good services, and beautiful mountain and rolling farmland surroundings. It is close to Cape Town Airport, Hermanus, Somerset West and attractions like De Hoop Nature Reserve, and wine farms in Bonnievale and Robertson. Elaine and Lori Hodgson, agents with Seeff say buyer enquiries come from all over, but mostly the North West, Gauteng, Free State, and KZN.
Expect to pay upwards of R1.6 million to around R6 million at the top end.
Ladismith - Klein Karoo
9 bedroom commercial for sale in Ladismith Rural | R24,000,000| Click here for the full listing details
Sonja Claassen, an agent with Seeff, says it offers stunning architecture and access to the Garden Route and Klein Karoo. Attractions include beautiful mountains, Ladismith Cape Brandy and Ladismith Cellar, and the annual Seweweekspoort Mountain Bike Challenge which brings people Property prices are affordable. She says that they are seeing more semigration buyers heading here as an alternative to the Garden Route towns.
Expect to pay upwards of R850,000 to around R3 million for a top end home. There are also smallholdings and farms in the area.