There seems to be an increasing trend for buyers from Johannesburg to move to Cape Town, and while they seem unsure and hesitant at first to look at property in Hout Bay, once they do visit there seems no argument that they are getting great value for money and make their decisions to buy quickly, says Matt Mercer, branch manager of the Knight Frank Residential SA’s Hout Bay branch.
In addition to this, they have been paying close to the full asking price and, in one particular case, above the asking price where there were two buyers bidding against each other, he said.
Mercer reported that he had sold R20 million worth of property in three weeks, and of these properties sold, up to 60% of the buyers were from Johannesburg.
Of the buyers he has dealt with, there are many from the mining industry and they seem to have healthy relocation budgets to work with, he said.
Asked to give examples of properties sold, Mercer mentioned a R10 million home, which sold for just under the asking price and a home, which after being on the market for two days, sold for R1 825 000 while being on the market for R1 850 000. The home which sold for above the asking price, was originally on the market at R4,7 million and eventually sold for R5 105 000, he said.
“There are two main questions buyers ask when they are looking at Hout Bay,” said Mercer. “The first is “Tell us about Imizamo Yethu? And the second is “What about the crime in the area?””
If one looks at other informal settlements in Cape Town, said Mercer, it is clear that IY is nowhere as big as some of them. In fact, there are 33 settlements larger than IY and, because it is on 12ha of land surrounded by National Park, it is contained and will not grow to an unmanageable size. There are plans in place to build two or three storey apartment blocks, which units will go to shack dwellers currently living in Imizamo Yethu and the shacks will be replaced by RDP housing. There is already a budget of about R250 million set aside for the upgrading of this area, he said.
The crime stats in Hout Bay have dropped considerably this year with the majority of the crime still occurring in the poorer areas, said Mercer. Crime definitely still exists, like anywhere else, but nowhere near the levels in Gauteng.
“I believe that those moving from Johannesburg are fairly pragmatic when it comes to security and are alert to what needs to be done to keep their family and home safe and they tend to look at the property’s value and lifestyle that Hout Bay offers and want to live here.”
“All of the buyers from Johannesburg that I have dealt with say they want to live in a seaside town, as there is no point in moving from suburbia there to another similar suburb here. They want to see and hear the sea, and this is exactly what many of the properties in Hout Bay offer. When comparing prices in Hout Bay to other Atlantic Seaboard property prices, it makes sense to buy a home here which is around 40% cheaper than the rest of the Atlantic Seaboard, but has much to offer in picturesque views of mountains as well as sea and an integrated village with all the amenities and facilities one could ask for.”