Property in Franschhoek
The scenic Franschhoek valley is a mere 45-minute drive from Cape Town and boasts a plethora of vineyards and attractions to keep guests and residents occupied. Lauded as one of the world’s foremost wine destinations, the quaint town features gorgeous scenery framed by imposing mountain views.
The town is every wine connoisseur and foodie’s dream as it features an abundance of exemplary wine estates as well as some of the best restaurants in the country, including the legendary Le Quatier Francais. Spend your days hopping between different vineyards and sipping sensational wines at some of South Africa’s favourite estates, including Boschendal, La Motte, Alle Bleue, Chamonix and Holden Manz.
If you’re in search of something a little different, follow the Franschhoek Cap Classique route; a unique path that incorporates nine cellars, each offering excellent sparkling wines. Another popular activity is chocolate tasting, as the captivating town boasts a number of outstanding boutique chocolatiers, including Huguenot Fine Chocolates and Le Chocolatier Factory which is every Lindt lover’s dream.
The town entertains a fascinating past rooted in its rich Huguenot ancestry. Essentially, when Protestantism became rampant in France in 1685, a group of French Huguenots escaped to South Africa and were granted land in the valley by the Dutch Government of the Cape. The valley was originally named Olifantshoek, translating to ‘elephant’s corner’ in reference to the numerous elephant herds that once populated the area. The Huguenots initiated a culture of viticulture in the valley, establishing multiple vineyards, many of which operate today, still bearing their original French names.
The Huguenot Monument honours the town’s ancestry and the influence that the Huguenots had over South Africa as a whole. The monument was designed by Jongens and incorporates three high arches signifying the Holy Trinity, watched over by the sun and the cross. The central female figure holds a Bible and a broken chair symbolising religious freedom. She is positioned on top of the globe and is seen casting off her cloak of repression, again symbolising her liberty. The biblical symbols on the globe are spiritually significant, while the water pond is there to evoke a sense of balance, tranquillity and peace.
Bastille Day is celebrated in Franschhoek annually. Both visitors and residents dress in red, blue and white regalia and flock to the town to feast on delectable foods accompanied by sublime wines and a host of festive games and celebrations. Live music sets the mood, while the infamous Barrel Rolling Contest and Boules competition remain much-anticipated events.
Property in Franschhoek includes both farms and residential real estate. According to Lightstone, people aged 36 to 49 years old account for approximately 40% of the recent property purchases in the area. Real estate in the vicinity includes 57.53% freestanding homes, 36.78% estates and 5.69% sectional title units. Property prices in the area have steadily increased since 2004, peaking in 2009 when freestanding homes sold for R3.337 million on average, while sectional titles were bought for R1.259 million.
Prices dropped in 2010, but have been consistently recovering, gaining momentum on an upward trend to reach the current price of R3.131 million. Approximately 57% of the estates sold in the region between April 2012 and March 2013 fetched prices ranging from R800 000 to R1.5 million. Around this time, 14.3% of estates sold for between R1.5 million and R3 million, while 7.1% sold for over R3 million, bringing the current average price to R1.611 million. On average, up to fifty properties are sold in Franschhoek each year.