When investigating areas to move to, one needs to weigh up the pros and cons of that area and list all the possible things it might have going for it, says Rodney Boast, one of the Knight Frank Anne Porter agent who works in the Hout Bay area.
Surrounded by the Table Mountain National Park, Hout Bay still has a small village “touch and feel” about it and it is one of those places where many families have lived there most of their lives or moved away and come back as adults, to stay. The sense of community here is strong as well as the longstanding friendships formed between businesspeople and their patrons, he said.
Most families do not have to leave Hout Bay or go far to enjoy the many outdoor activities available: there are walking trails with all difficulty levels on the surrounding mountains, beaches to launch kayaks or small sail boats, and swim or sunbathe – both Hout Bay and Llandudno have world class beaches – horse riding facilities and tennis courts.
There are many gyms, yoga or wellness centres to keep any fitness fanatic happy and for those who enjoy a slightly more relaxed environment, a glut of restaurants, coffees shops, bistros, the harbour market and boulevardier opportunities abound, said Boast.
There are excellent schools in Hout Bay, says Boast, the new Montessori Eco-School and Disa Primary, the new premises for the International School and the various other smaller schools (as well as Kronendal Primary), allow parents to choose from a wide selection of educational facilities so that their children do not have to travel to the Southern Suburbs to go to school every day.
There have been challenges for those living here too, he said. The travelling costs from Hout Bay to other major business centres can be high, and the only routes in and out of the village are windy, zig zag roads up and over or around mountains. Public transport is available but can also be costly and because the roads are single lanes in and out, there can be quite a bit of traffic congestion. (The Myciti bus service will soon run from Hout Bay to Cape Town, which should alleviate this.)
Crime is often mentioned but the Hout Bay community driven neighbourhood watch is well attended and this has, to a large extent, helped reduce the number of incidents in the area.
But what makes people stay on or come back?
“Most say they want the village touch and feel of the area, where people can be seen walking to and from the shops or restaurants, even at night,” said Boast.
Housing in Hout Bay is available across the entire property spectrum: from sectional title apartments from R700 000 to homes on large freestanding plots or in security estates up to R45 000 000.
To give an idea of what is available, Boast mentioned:
- A very neat, one bedroom one bathroom north facing garden apartment priced at R725 000;
- A three bedroom two bathroom home with a study and staff accommodation in Kenrock Security Estate, priced at R4 695 000; and
- A three bedroom three bathroom home with three reception rooms and two garages on the slopes overlooking the beach and harbour, also in a secure estate. This home is priced at R9 950 000.
There is also a large variety of homes to rent, from holiday apartments to long leased family homes, in a variety of settings to suit every person’s needs.
“Hout Bay has much to offer those who visit or live here,” he said. “Ask any resident here whether they can choose another area that they’d like to live in and they would probably pause for quite a while before answering. There aren’t many towns that can offer such a variety of things to do, with a cosmopolitan feel, yet still has a friendly family atmosphere.”