Cape Town - The City of Cape Town is non-committal about the results of their recent virtual land auction, in which some 150 would-be buyers went head-to-head, to snap up vacant municipal land on offer across the metro.
Asked to comment on whether the auction was a success and how much money was raised, mayoral member member for economic opportunities and asset management James Vos said: “All bids are subject to a 15-day business day acceptance period by the City, therefore, the results of the auction will be confirmed at a later stage
“A large number of bidders attended and bids were received on all properties put on offer. There were 45 lots on the auction list,” said Vos.
He said the revenue generated will be used for service delivery throughout the city, but that the date of the next auction is yet to be determined.
Lead auctioneer Joff van Reenen of High Street Auctions said the fiercest bidding was for residential and community sites.
“Buyer interest in the Cape Flats and the northern suburbs of the city, particularly, was astonishing.
"We knew ahead of the sale, by registration numbers, that Capetonians were interested in acquiring these sites because they’ve not come to market before, but what we didn’t anticipate was how ferocious the competition would be.
“Churches were going head-to-head with non-profits, in suburbs such as Mitchells Plain, Delft, and Khayelitsha, and nobody wanted to back down once they were bidding,” said Van Reenen.
The online auction attracted criticism from housing groups such as Ndifuna Ukwazi, whose research and advocacy head Michael Clark said: "The sale of the properties showed the City’s uncoordinated, ad hoc approach to public land management.”
Meanwhile, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, scores of brand-new development properties were left hanging and will be on the auction block on July 7 and 8 (Wednesday and Thursday), at prices that date back to 2016.
ClareMart Auction Group spokesperson Rob Stefanutto said: “This enormous amount of old – but actually brand-new – stock must be cleared, in order for the market to resume the new cycle of development.
“The stock is located in various developments across Cape Town, including the City Bowl, Durbanville, Parow, Edgemead and Parklands,” said Stefanutto.
Asked whether auctioning of property in this way could become the new normal because of Covd-19, Western Cape Property Development Forum (WCPDF) chairperson Deon van Zyl said as the market had not recovered post Covid-19, the level of uncertainty could make sellers consider various sales methods.
“The market adjustments and development funding models may have influenced developments being brought to the market in this format.