Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront has long been the address of choice for trendy professionals, international visitors and businesspeople requiring a secure pied-à-terre in the city. There are currently 515 residential units on offer in the precinct, and Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that demand for both sales and rentals has surged in the past 16 months. (January 2013 to end April 2014)
PGP’s area manager for the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl, Basil Moraitis, says sales figures for 2013 indicate that 69 apartments, valued at R447 million, changed hands at the Waterfront– that’s more than double the number of units sold in each of the four previous years. The sales ranged from one-bedroomed apartments at R3.9 million, to two-bedroomed apartments from R5 million to R15 million, and penthouses sold for in excess of R50 million. (source – Lightstone, sales by all agencies)
“These figures represent a significant market recovery after a period of several years of very muted sales activity in this market,” says Moraitis. “The sustained demand has also resulted in a significant reduction in available stock. After several years in which we saw around 80 units offered for sale each year, that figure has now plummeted to the point where there are fewer than 20 apartments currently on the market. There is no doubt that sentiment has shifted markedly upward, and that this in tune is fuelling demand.”
Moraitis notes that it is not only the residential component of the V&A Waterfront which is enjoying this tangible sense of positive sentiment. “The owners of the Waterfront, Growthpoint and the Public Investment Corporation, have committed major sums to development and new infrastructure within the complex,” he says, “and the area is simply humming with activity. Recently competed projects include the new office and residential buildings in the Silo precinct, as well as the new flagship 6000sqm Pick n Pay store within the main mall area. We also heard recently that world-renowned designer Thomas Heatherwick plans to remodel the old grain silo into a magnificent new contemporary African art gallery, which is sure to become a major tourist attraction for the Waterfront.”
Other projects under construction include the I&J Gatehouse, additional parking and underground links between the various parking garages, as well as the refurbishment of Granger Bay Court and building of additional residential units for rental purposes, in the Portswood section. The Red Shed and Blue Shed markets, Two Oceans Aquarium and SA Rugby Museum are also undergoing expansion and refurbishment.
Moraitis says there has recently been a significant increase in the number of tourists and visitors occupying the residential apartments at the V&A Waterfront on both short-term and long-term leases. “There is no doubt that the area has become very desirable and sought-after by international business travellers looking for a convenient and safe place to stay that is close to the Central City, yet still offers convenient access to entertainment facilities and restaurants,” he says. “The result is that rental returns have escalated considerably, and one can now expect to pay up to R50 000 per month for one of the larger three-bedroomed apartments in a prime marina setting.”
Purchase prices at the V&A Waterfront currently range from around R4.5 million for a one-bedroomed apartment, from R7.5 million to R15 million for a two-bedroomed unit, and up to R25 million for a spacious three-bedroomed penthouse.
“There is no doubt that Cape Town’s growing positive international exposure, through events such as World Design Capital and the New Seven Wonders of Nature, has contributed to this growth in positive sentiment and demand for the V&A precinct in general,” Moraitis concludes. “The strong demand coupled with limited availability of stock is likely to maintain the upward pressure on prices for the foreseeable future, and we anticipate that the ongoing development within the area will only cement its status as one of the most desirable addresses in South Africa.”
**All prices quoted are actual selling prices, and all sales mentioned were concluded by Pam Golding Properties, unless otherwise specified.