Areas and Places

Big Bay, Sunningdale and West Beach are leaders in Cape Town's Western seaboard property run

Sunningdale on the Western Seaboard has myriad cluster homes and attracts younger families starting out on the property ladder, or those looking to upgrade. This three bedroom, two bathroom family home is on sale in the suburb for R2.5m.

Just three suburbs are where a full third of all house sales on Cape Town’s Western Seaboard have taken place from January 2014 to date, making them by far the most active markets in the area with 643 transactions totalling R1.13 billion.

According to Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, the lion’s share of the market belongs to Big Bay, Sunningdale and West Beach in terms of both Rand value and number of sales.

Says Geffen: “Sunningdale, is top of the log having realised an astounding 412 sales with a total value of R590 million in the past 18 months, with sale prices averaging at R1.43m.”

Runners-up West Beach and Big Bay recorded 126 sales to the value of R243m, averaging R1.93m and 105 sales to the total value of R296 million averaging R2.8m respectively.

“Most notable has been the strident and consistent year on year average house price increase in these suburbs since the millennium, when the combined average selling price was a mere R300 000 compared to R1.940 million by the end of the first quarter of 2015. This phenomenal overall increase of 543% equates to a very healthy annual growth of 36%.”

Measured over the past eight years since 2007, Big Bay has experienced the highest average price increase at 67.31%, with Sunningdale and West Beach increasing by 57% and 35% respectively in the same period.

All three suburbs have shown excellent returns on investment, with the average nominal return on investment measured during the first quarter of 2015 being 16% per annum over the past six years. Big Bay and West Beach both showed a nominal return on investment of 17% per annum over eight and seven years respectively, in spite of the 2008 dip, and Sunningdale also featured well over a shorter period with a return of 15% per annum over five years.
Lydia Johnstone, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty says that Sunningdale’s popularity and active market can be attributed to several factors.

“As the area offers mainly compact and modern cluster-style homes with very accessible entry level prices of around R1m, it’s a great area for young families starting out as well as couples who want to scale down after the kids have flown the nest.”

“With the top end of the market barely brushing the R2m mark, it’s definitely an area where investors can still get a lot of value for money,” adds Johnstone.”

Only 25 minutes from the city, Sunningdale is also known for its child-friendly close-knit community and it offers many amenities including a retirement complex, shopping village and its own sports club where residents can play a variety of sport, from bowls to soccer.

As West Beach and Big Bay are situated along the oceanfront with direct access to the beach and stunning views over Table Bay, they are in a higher price bracket yet still afford investors a seaside lifestyle at a price which is still in reach if many new home owners.

Says Johnstone: “West Beach is a very active market as it offers investors a wide choice of property, from start-up apartments to spacious single title homes, so it’s attractive to both first-time buyers as well as established families.”

“While it’s still possible to find a modern apartment in the area for around R600 000, investors wanting homes close to the beach can pay up to R5.5m for a luxurious five bedroom home.”

In Big Bay, the most popular properties are the modern luxury security estates that are within walking distance of the beach, most of which were built in the past decade. Homes are large and price are generally from R2.8m and upwards.

Offering a selection of upmarket homes in a secure, well-maintained environment, these estates are attracting both local buyers and families relocating from Gauteng seeking to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle with the peace of mind afforded by these estates.

“Big Bay’s security estates like King’s Haven and Sandown also have parks within the grounds with playground equipment that the children love, so the parks are well used by the resident families who walk their dogs, simply go for a stroll or take their children down to play.”

Johnstone says that one of the main appeal factors of the Western Seaboard is that it offers not only affordable upmarket beachfront living, but also an excellent infrastructure with myriad amenities, from top class medical care to an abundance of shopping centres and restaurants.

“Regardless of where you live on the Western Seaboard or what you paid for your property, you are almost always within a kilometre or two from a variety of shops, public transport routes and even the beach.”