Property prices in the historic town ? the third oldest in South Africa ? started stabilising about six months ago and most homes now fall into the R500 000 to R900 000 range, says Wouter Roux of local estate agency Homenet Overberg.
"The tremendous property boom last year scotched the hopes of many people nearing retirement who had planned to buy a cottage at the sea. Prices of coastal property in the Overberg soared and in many instances now a vacant coastal stand will cost nearly as much as an established home inland ? while 1000sqm vacant stands in Swellendam can be had for about R250 000,? he says.
The new medical centre in town, offering comprehensive medical services, is another favourable factor among retired people. Security villages are also starting to feature in the town, with homes in two new developments currently being marketed at prices ranging from R595 000 to R795 000. The double-storey units have two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a single garage and are set on 700sqm stands.
The town also remains a popular holiday destination, Roux says, and the bed-and-breakfast industry is flourishing with more than 90 establishments now catering for tourists.
The town is a convenient base for visitors who want to sample the local rural attractions, including the Bontebok National Park, the De Hoop and Grootvadersbos nature reserves with their abundant bird life, and several hiking and 4x4 trails.
Swellendam, about two hours? drive from Cape Town, is also popular among artists who find inspiration in the magnificent views of the Langeberg and the town?s rich architectural legacy, which dates back to 1745.