Cape property boom returns

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CampsBay1

Independent Newspapers.

Camps Bay. Picture: Courtney Africa.

Cape Town - Cape Town’s seaside mansions on the Atlantic coast are being sought after again following the post-2008 slump in the property market – and many of the buyers are foreigners paying cash.

The average price for a house on the Atlantic side of the peninsula in the first quarter of this year was R11.2 million compared to R8.1m for the same period last year.

Although the number of houses sold on the Atlantic seaboard has stayed almost the same as the first quarter of 2013, the value of the sales this year increased by 41 percent.

And in the CBD, there is a big demand for smaller “lock-up-and-go” sectional title dwellings, with many people moving from the suburbs back to the city.

Steven Delit, of RE/MAX, said the Atlantic seaboard had shown “a very nice increase”.

“There was only one more house sold between January and April this year compared to last year, but sales value was up R200m. This does not necessarily mean prices have gone up. It means people are buying larger houses. In Clifton for instance it is not necessarily that the prices are appreciating, but it does mean that people are going for larger houses,” he said.

“So there has been a big increase in the value of houses sold – up 41 percent in value on last year. Flats on the other hand are up only 5 percent.”

 

The data was based on information submitted to the Institute of Estate Agents, to which 90 percent of estate agents belong.

Delit said houses on the Atlantic seaboard were used as an indicator of the property market in the city as “what happens there happens later elsewhere”.

“In the last two years the market has started to come back, in prices and in numbers, but it’s still down from 2007 on the numbers sold. The prices are back up.”

Basil Moraitis, of Pam Golding Properties, said foreign buyers had returned to Cape Town’s Atlantic coast.

“There was a complete void in foreign buyers after the 2008 credit crunch. They needed to liquidate their possessions and became sellers – and sometimes sellers at a loss, which drove down prices. Now the rand is weaker, so that’s in their favour, and the prices are lower, so it also works in their favour. Now there’s a shortage of stock, not much available on the market,” Moraitis said.

The company had sold a house in Fresnaye last year to a buyer from the United Arab Emirates for R110m.

This was a record, he said.

“What we’re seeing with these top-end sales is that there is a lot more cash in the market. People are doing cash sales, not mortgages. I’d say the people buying here are the international jetset who buy houses all over and come here for holidays.”

Some of the prices for recent house sales in Camps Bay were R30m to an Angolan buyer, R20m (UK), R20m (DRC) and R15m (French). In Bakoven there was a bungalow sold for R20m to a Johannesburg buyer.

In Clifton recent house sale prices were R24m to a French buyer, R22m (Chinese), R26m (UK/Nigerian).

In Fresnaye recent prices were R21m, R24m, R30m and R28m – all to Capetonians. In addition a house for R31m was sold to a German.

In the V&A Waterfront an apartment was sold to a Nigerian for R25m.

Flats in Mouille Point were sold for R22m to a Pretoria buyer, R25m to a Swiss buyer and R10m to a Hong Kong buyer.

Anton McElhone, of Pure Vision Properties, said there was a great demand for sectional title dwellings in the CBD.

“We buy houses and convert them or demolish and build sectional title places. In the last two years we’ve sold over R450m in property. The demand is unbelievable, especially in the CBD. We’ve got a lot of cash buyers.”

“It’s mainly people downscaling from big suburban houses. People want to come back to the city. They don’t want the hassle of traffic,” said McElhone. - Cape Times


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