South Africans are saying no to the rumbling city, and yes to smaller towns and sandy beaches | Mooikloof Country Estate

November 9, 2022

Today’s modern lifestyle has led to major burnout in people. The pressure to provide for your family, on top of bills that need to be paid, that just keep on piling up one after the other takes their toll. This usually leads people to requiring some sort of lifestyle change in order to make a positive turnaround in their lives.

Seeff Property Group stated that more people are increasingly choosing to move out of the hustle and bustle of cities and relocating to more intimate, smaller towns looking for a better quality and a less rushed way of life. These towns are referred to as ‘Zoom Towns’, where there’s a sudden increase in the population of a community as a result of an influx of remote workers.

Whether it’s moving permanently or investing in a 2nd home, for the purpose of remote work, these zoom towns are attracting people from all around the country and from all walks of life. A few towns that are on the receiving end of these influxes of people are Swellendam, Hartbeespoort, Ladismith, Riversdale, Gansbaai, Struisbaai, Aghulas, Suiderstrand, Plettenbergbaai, Langebaan, Mossel Bay and George.

Research group Lightstone stated that data suggests that 20% fewer people are moving from city to city, and more people are purchasing 2nd homes in smaller towns. Gauteng makes up 40% of people leaving cities, with the Western Cape making up 30% and Kwazulu-Natal coming in at 12%. Seeff noted that people moving away from the Western Cape and KZN cities tend to choose smaller towns within their own province, whereas people from Gauteng are moving long distances, often to the Western Cape and KZN, and to a lesser degree Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape and North West.

These towns were traditionally viewed as “retirement” towns for the 45 and older demographic, who would migrate to smaller towns. Now, it’s young professionals and families who are ditching the city for the coast and countryside. Small towns, which are within reach of the city and airport for commuting purposes, are benefitting from this trend as the younger generation are moving towards a “me first, work second” lifestyle and looking to escape to less crowded areas.

But it’s coastal towns that take first prize in this debate, as it provides the perfect balance between work and play. If people are leaving major cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg behind for a more humble way of life near the coast, what’s luring them there? Let’s take a look at a few possible reasons why people are moving closer to coastal towns:

1. Clean Ocean Air

According to a popular UK based publication, The Daily Mail, living by open bodies of water or the ocean can drastically improve your health in various ways. “Research shows that the sound of waves alters wave patterns in the brain, lulling you into a deeply relaxed state. Relaxing in this way can help rejuvenate the mind and body.

2. Lead a healthier lifestyle

Living close to the beach promotes a healthier lifestyle as it encourages people to be more connected to the ocean. Ocean sports are very good for one’s general fitness. Pastimes such as surfing promote a lifestyle where individuals are encouraged to wake up early and enjoy the day. This is very important in promoting health and wellness. Other popular ocean-based sports include fishing, SCUBA diving, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

3. Great environment to raise children

Raising a child by the ocean is great because it enables them to appreciate the outdoors. Fostering connections with the outdoors is highly important in an ever-changing urban environment, where most of the time video games, television, and shopping centres are the order of the day. Raising a child outdoors will help them harbour better habits and have better lifestyle choices all around.

4. Get used to seasonal living

Most who move to a coastal town will have to get used to seasonal living. The town will be extremely busy during certain times, yet desolately quiet during other times. Business will be affected by this. Don’t see this as a curse, but as a blessing as this gives one an ideal opportunity to live a balanced life, where family and beach time go hand in hand with seasonal hard work. Cash in, when you can, and enjoy the outdoors and the company of loved ones during the rest of the time.

5. You get in touch with nature

Spending time in nature is good for us—for our children’s development, our overall health and well-being, the vitality of our communities, and for economic sectors. When people experience and connect with nature, they are also more likely to act in ways that benefit the Earth. The Garden Route boasts various National Parks that will bring you as close to nature as one can get.

Mooikloof is perfectly placed for both countryside and coast lovers. Just a short 5-minute drive away you’ll find the ever-vibrant Gwaing beach and Herold’s Bay, providing that perfect balance between work and play. Come and enjoy the finer things in life. cContact us today to arrange a viewing of our developments.

In South Africa, if you can go one day without hearing anything political, that’s called a good day. The political climate has always had a bearing on the property market. Stable governance and effective policies contribute to a positive market outlook, while uncertainties may have the opposite effect.