The Welgemoed area, which is tucked in behind the Tygerberg range and just 15 km north of Cape Town, stretches from Loevenstein to Kanonberg and includes in its territory such suburbs as De Bron, Protea Valley, Doordekraal, Van Riebeeckshof, Oude Westhof and Welgedacht, has always been upmarket, and unmistakably exclusive, says Ronell Young, who with Paul Abbott is co-franchisee for the Rawson Property Group’s franchise serving this area. Selling homes here, she says, can be difficult because those sellers with homes above R3 million (many have homes valued far higher, i.e. up to R8 million) tend to be well-established, financially secure and in no great hurry to move. Nor, says Young, are they prepared to drop their prices. Some homes in these upper price categories have actually been listed for three to four years without finding a buyer.
“As a result of this situation, estate agents in this area sell very few expensive homes. However in the R2 million to R2,8 million bracket trade is still brisk and if the home is correctly priced it will usually sell within two to three months.”
Turnover, said Young, is particularly satisfactory for townhouses (their average price is R2 million) and apartments, which will usually come onto the market priced between R520,000 and R900,000.
As one would also expect in so stable a market — prices did not fall off during the recession and, by Young’s estimate, are now rising at 8 to 10% per annum. While some agents are reporting that banks are now easing up on their stipulated criteria for bond applicants, it is also regrettably true, says Young, that in Welgemoed they remain reluctant to advance loans, usually insisting on very large deposits and stringent conditions. This, she said, has definitely been a factor in slowing down sales here.
On the rental front, it is the owners who are benefitting greatly from demand exceeding supply. They are today, said Young, able to charge R12,000 to R16,000 per month for a freestanding home, even for those which are not ‘particularly special,’ and R10,000 to R12,000 for a three bedroom townhouse. Flats come onto the market at anything from R5,000 per month upwards.
Welgemoed’s proximity to the city, its excellent schools (which get good academic results), chic retail centres, leafy landscapes, well maintained communal areas and beautiful golf course will all continue to make the area highly sought after.