A review of Constantia home sales in 2011 and 2012 by Gerald Romanovsky, the senior agent at the Rawson Property Group’s Constantia franchise, has shown that the majority of Constantia property values have held up well since the recession and that, while the more expensive homes are still having to sell well below the 2007 price levels, in the R2 million to R4 million categories the number of sales and the prices are actually now rising above former levels.
“In the R2,2 million to R3 million category,” said Romanovsky, “33 properties were sold in 2012. This was 12 more than in 2011 – and the achieved prices were on average within 12,6% of the asking price. This was a substantial 3% improvement on the year before.”
The average achieved price in this category, he said, was R2,560,000, also a 3% improvement on the 2011 average price.
Similarly, in the R3 million to R4 million category, 30 homes were sold in 2012, two more than in 2011, and the average achieved price of R3,490,000 was roughly the same as in 2011.
In the R4 million to R5 million, R5 million to R6 million, and the R7 million to R8 million categories, (all analysed by Romanovsky), the 2011 sales numbers (respectively 27, 18 and 12) were on much the same level as in 2012.
It is only in the R10 million to R15 million category, said Romanovsky, that the effect of the downturn is still apparent. Here, he said, only ten properties were sold in 2012, as against 28 in 2011 (as many commentators have noted, initially Constantia’s top bracket prices held up very well against the downturn).
In this category the difference between asking and achieved prices in 2012 was 19% – almost exactly the same as in 2011, indicating that even in this super-affluent bracket, prices are now stabilising.
Asked what conclusions potential buyers and property trend watchers can draw from his figures, Romanovsky said, “Firstly, although stabilisation is now definitely evident in these sub-R7 million price ranges, all prices are, by historic standards, still exceptionally low and can genuinely be regarded as very good buys which are bound to rise in value as stock levels fall – which is now happening in the less expensive categories.”
“Secondly – and our experience confirms this – in the R7 million to R15 million price categories, buyers have still to realize that if they really want to sell in three to six months, they must accept the pricing advice of experienced agents who know the area and can give market-related prices. If they do not do this, they are likely to see their homes sticking on the market and acquiring a ‘too expensive, not worth looking at’ reputation.”
Romanovsky commented, as he has done before, that the watchdog roles of the local home owners and the ratepayers association have ensured that Constantia has kept its rural, vineyard, country house atmosphere, despite on-going development and an increase in gated estates – and this, he said, means that Constantia will continue to appeal to discerning buyers, not only in South Africa but worldwide.