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.
Here are 10 of the most in-demand towns and villages. Most have enjoyed excellent price growth over the last five to 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, the 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, as well as Swellendam, Napier, and Ladismith in the Western Cape countryside.
The most in-demand small towns with a projected average price growth over the next five to 10 years are:
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 R4m to R8m, and at the top end from R18m to R100m-plus.
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 R3m to R9m on average, up to just under R100m at the top end.
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 their own mooring along with a choice of properties including the St Francis Links golf estate which attracts buyers from all over.
Expect to pay R3m to R6m on average, and at the top end to about R30m.
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 R8.25m in Calypso Beach and R10.8m in Paradise Beach.
Expect to pay upwards of R1.7m to around R8m, with top end ranging to about R30m.
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 R2.95m to R8m on average, with top homes ranging to just under R30m.
Kenton 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 R1.1m to R6m on average, and at the top to around R15m.
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 R2.2m to R6m to around R40m for a top-end home.
Val Anderton and Marinda Roux, estate agents with Seeff, say the scenic town is a popular stop over 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. Smallholdings and farms are also popular.
Expect to pay upwards of R2m to R5m on average and upwards of R10m to around R40m for agri properties.
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 R1.6m to around R6m at the top end.
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 together.
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 R3m for a top-end home. There are also smallholdings and farms in the area.