The sought-after Cape Town suburbs of Fresnaye and Bantry Bay on the Atlantic Seaboard are seeing a surge in residential property sales, with increased demand from both local and international buyers. Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that the high-demand environment is driving an increase in average prices in the suburb, which have climbed more than R2 million in the past six months (November 2013 to April 2014).
During the six month period from May to October 2013, 21 properties changed hands in the two suburbs, at an average of R10.28 million. PGP’s area manager for the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl, Basil Moraitis, says those figures have climbed steadily in the past six months (November 2013 to April 2014), with the total number of sales increasing to 28 homes and the average price jumping substantially to R12.581 million. During the same period the number of homes sold for over R10 million also increased from seven to 15. (source – Propstats, sales by all agencies)
PGP’s area specialists Jackie Rosenberg and Janice Toay say the lifestyle on offer in these upmarket seaside suburbs is one of the chief factors driving the increased demand. “Many families are reconsidering the need for a large, high-maintenance home with a sprawling garden that requires a lot of upkeep,” they say, “and are choosing instead to purchase homes on smaller grounds, in highly sought-after areas such as these two suburbs. So we are seeing numerous buyers moving out of the traditional ‘garden suburbs’ and choosing to downscale into a practically-designed, well-located family home that offers access to a more active, vibrant and sociable lifestyle.”
Rosenberg and Toay point out that Fresnaye and Bantry Bay offer proximity to the V&A Waterfront and the beaches of the Atlantic Seaboard, sophisticated restaurants and coffee shops and easy access to the Green Point Urban Park, as well as any number of fitness centres, golf and tennis clubs, and other sporting facilities. “They are also well located for those who prefer more adrenalin-fuelled sports such as paragliding, trail running and mountain-biking,” they say.
Moraitis adds that many older residents of the suburbs have taken advantage of the heightened demand and sold their homes to younger families, a number of whom are opting to redevelop these properties. “These sellers then tend to move into beachfront apartments where they have the added advantage of having access to the promenade,” he says, “along with extra security and even fewer maintenance concerns. The result of this change in social dynamic is that stock levels have dropped considerably in both suburbs, and entry level prices have increased to around R6 million or R7 million for a family home. This is an escalation far in excess of the market in the surrounding suburbs.”
PGP’s recent sales in Fresnaye and Bantry Bay include a property that was bought for R30 million by a family whose primary residence is in the Southern Suburbs. They will use the home as a weekend getaway, allowing them to enjoy the best of both worlds – the large garden and school access of the Southern Suburbs, and the trendy beachfront lifestyle of the Atlantic Seaboard.
Other notable sales include an older home in Bantry Bay which was recently sold to a German buyer for R13 million. He intends demolishing the existing dwelling and building a brand new trophy home for use in the summer months. Moraitis notes that for international buyers, the sociable lifestyle in these suburbs is particularly appealing, providing an ideal environment for them to live as “swallows” who spend the European winter in South Africa. “But it is certainly not just international buyers who are driving the recent demand,” he adds, “as our sales demonstrate that local and up-country buyers are equally active in the market.”