The highly attractive fishing-harbour town of Hout Bay has a great deal going for it. Nestled in a beautiful valley, surrounded by verdant mountains and a bay protected from the excesses of the Atlantic Ocean, it is no wonder that the community feels as if they are living in a rarified environment. Although they are hardly cut off from the broader city of Cape Town, there is an intrinsic heartbeat to the locale that makes it so special, not least the feeling of community that pervades Hout Bay life.
As with any community, diversity has its challenges but also adds richness to the melting pot of different cultures. Recent protests by the people of Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu were not appreciated by all residents of Hout Bay in terms of method, but most are sympathetic to the underlying social issues which were the subject of these actions”.
The community is quick to mobilise when any of their fellow residents are in trouble. When a devastating fire swept through Imizamo Yethu in March, razing 4500 structures to the ground and affecting 15000 people according to Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Ian Nielson, the broader community of Hout Bay sprang into action. Through community organisitions such as Thula Thula Hout Bay, and Hout Bay Organised, calls to action saw large numbers of local volunteers helping to evacuate residents from the devastation, fighting fires, and aiding desperate IY residents to salvage what they could from the disaster zone. Donations of money, food and clothing flooded in and the residents of Hout Bay demonstrated yet again their sense of duty to all fellow Houtbayers.
The City of Cape Town is investing R400 million in a housing and infrastructure project in the settlement. This is a major step in the drive to make Imizamo Yethu a safer and more habitable living space for the residents.
For those financially fortunate enough to be eyeing the property market, Hout Bay offers excellent value for money. Matt Mercer, a local estate agent with international powerhouse, Knight Frank says that the recent three-year trend of high demand and low supply for property in the area has stabilised, making Hout Bay an attractive option for buyers. According to Knight Frank research, the demand for Hout Bay is driven by the desire for semigrants from other provinces to live in an affordable area, with sea views and easy access to beaches, mountains, and all of the wonderful amenities that the rest of greater Cape Town has to offer.
Extremely good schools, a vibrant restaurant culture and a variety of quality shopping centres make Hout Bay a popular choice for international holiday home buyers, although the highest percentage of buyers is still in-the-know locals. “Buyers taking a long-term view of the market will profit from looking at Hout Bay's wide selection of choice” says Mercer.