The Western Cape has always been high on people’s wish list, so much so that it features on the BBC’s Top 50 places to go before you die. Cape Town has morphed quickly from a holiday destination into a place to live, work and play.

It would be difficult to leave this magical view

Foreign visitors’ penchant to invest in bricks and mortar in the most sought-after areas is on the up. In the rather ‘soggy’ aftermath of the global recession, is the high-end seafront property not affected?

Audrey Matthews, director of Ronnie Matthews Estates which specialises in waterfront and seaboard properties along the Atlantic coastline says: “There was definitely a hiatus in the last year in the exponential growth in property prices we were experiencing. But it was the least affected area, stabilising rather than dropping in price.

“The property interest has been kickstarted again by South Africa’s recent showcase – The World Cup 2010. Afro-pessimism was replaced by a general feeling of goodwill and although there are still enormous challenges in this country, it has not seen such positive international press for a very long time.”

Matthews adds that although the property market can be described as ‘buoyant’ on the coastline, the buyer is more cautious and the growth expectation more realistic and rational than witnessed a few years ago. She adds, “Buyers are approaching the investment in this kind of property in a scientific, rather than emotional way. They look at investment and yields and weigh it up against alternative investment avenues and then they buy.”

Aspirational lifestyle

More often than not, these are properties on the coast with magnificent sea views and within walking distance of the beach. Not only is it an aspirational lifestyle for many, but also offers an exceptional long-term investment opportunity. The Atlantic Seaboard is a favourite.

These spectacular penthouses are very much ‘next generation’ and blend in with the environment

It is prime coastal property in Cape Town – a picturesque sweep of coastline where the Twelve Apostle mountain range slopes down to meet the ocean on the western side of the Cape peninsula. The rich cultural heritage and diversity adds piquancy to the Cape and offers property buyers ideal holiday and rental options on their properties.

And it’s not just the areas like Clifton, Camps Bay, Bakoven and Bantry Bay that are coveted by foreigners and locals alike. “The area around Mouille Point between Granger Bay and Sea Point have joined the ranks of blue chip investment and the demand has totally outstripped the supply.”

Slow but steady economic expansion in South Africa is fuelling the strong demand for more holiday properties, while increased international tourism is being boosted by government incentives to encourage further foreign investors into the country.

This is partly due to the fact that many Europeans consider Cape Town to be not only a destination for holidays, but also the place of choice for retirement or permanent homes. Here they find a wide range of well-priced properties in beautiful coastal resorts. High rental demands due to the rapidly expanding growth in tourism, coupled with the exchange rate between the South African Rand and other major currencies favours property purchase.

Capital economic growth is predicted to maintain a steady rate and keep stable over the next ten years. Developers are adding to investment incentive by guaranteeing rental returns for periods to encourage investment. One example is Ebb Tide in Bali Bay located in the prime position in Bakoven on the Atlantic seaboard. These spectacular penthouses designed by Greg Wright, are ‘next generation’ and blend in seamlessly with the environment.

Rental division

Capital growth and a yield based on conservative and realistic projections is topped with finance schemes i.e. different deposit structures based on 8% guaranteed rental return for two years. For this reason the investment needs little subsidising and can quite quickly be paid off.

Furthermore, a ‘hassle free’ investment is offered for the first two years as the developers guarantee the yield and hand the investment over in perfect condition after two years, then Ronnie Matthews Estates supports the rental thereafter with their in-house rental division and forward marketing strategy plan.

The Ebb Tide apartments are stylish, serviced, more often than not have a concierge and generally offer a far more relaxing environment than the relative austerity of a hotel

Ronnie Matthews Estates has noticed a growing trend among wealthy travellers to choose private, fully serviced luxury apartments over the standard mass offerings that the big hotel groups offer and investors are buying them. Not only are luxury apartments like these generally much better appointed but they also allow you more privacy and flexibility, whether you want to enjoy sundowners or relax between business meetings.

Ebb Tide was developed by Old Town Investments with over a 20-year proven track record, and they are offering a five-year building guarantee from DDC.

Two units are available:

102 – 203m2 – 2-beds, 2-baths, infinity rim flow pool, two parking bays, one storeroom, fully furnished

202 – 282m2 – 3-beds, 3-baths, infinity glass rim flow pool, two parking bays, one storeroom, fully furnished

Ebb Tide was also designed as an environmentally friendly ‘green building’, complete with solar heating and special power-saving technology.

For more information go online at: www.ronniematthewsestates.co.za