These are SA’s top 10 small towns for semigrants, second-home buyers

South Africa’s small towns offer beauty, tranquility, and property price growth. Picture: Juanita Swart/Unsplash

South Africa’s small towns offer beauty, tranquility, and property price growth. Picture: Juanita Swart/Unsplash

Published Sep 18, 2023


Whether you are a looking for a permanent small town lifestyle or considering purchasing a second home, South Africa has no shortage of options.

In addition to offering top-quality small town living and natural beauty, many of the country’s most popular towns are not too far from bigger towns or cities.

Prices of goods in these areas 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, and access to wine and olive farms, are just some of the reasons these small towns are so popular, says Ian Badenhorst, managing director for Seeff Country and Karoo.

Many have also enjoyed “excellent” house price growth over the past 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.”

Seeff highlights ten of the most in-demand towns and villages, and ranks them by average price:

Top 10 most in-demand small towns in South Africa

Its agents then break down the towns’ most alluring qualities.

1. Franschhoek – Cape Winelands

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.

  • Average price range: R4m to R8m
  • Top-end price range: R18m to R100m+

2. Nottingham Road – KZN Midlands

This 30ha smallholding is on the market for R18m. Picture: Seeff Property Group

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.

  • Average price range: R3m to R9m
  • Top-end price: Just under R100m

3. St Francis Bay – Eastern Cape coast

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.

  • Average price range: R3m to R6m
  • Top-end price: About R30m

4. Langebaan – West Coast

A quick 90-minute drive 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.

  • Average price range: R1,7m to R8m
  • Top-end price: About R30m

5. Yzerfontein – West Coast

The quaint village is just over an hour from Cape Town and popular due to its unspoiled 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.

  • Average price range: R2,95m to R8m
  • Top-end price: Just under R30m

6. Port Alfred – Eastern Cape Sunshine Coast

This town 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.

  • Average price range: R1,1m to R6m
  • Top-end price: About R15m

7. Hartbeespoort – Magaliesberg area

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.

  • Average price range: R2,2m to R6m
  • Top-end price: R40m

8. Swellendam - Overberg

Val Anderton and Marinda Roux, estate agents with Seeff, say the scenic town is a popular stop 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 percent due to scarcity. Smallholding and farms are also popular.

  • Average price range: R2m to R5m
  • Top-end price range: R10m to R40m for agricultural properties

9. 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.

  • Average price: R1,6m
  • Top-end price: Around R6m

10. Ladismith - Klein Karoo

This 4-bed Victorian home is on the market for R2,2m. Picture: Seeff Property Group

Seeff agent Sonja Claassen 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 also affordable. Claasen says more semigration buyers are heading to the town as an alternative to the Garden Route towns.

  • Average price range: from R850,000
  • Top-end price: About R3m

There are also smallholdings and farms in the area.

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