Areas and Places

Property Trend: Milnerton's 'fixer uppers' are becoming popular with young couples

View of two of Milnerton’s most identifiable features, the Milnerton lagoon and Woodbridge Island.

The latest trend in residential property, says Dave Zieve, a senior agent of the Rawson Property Group’s Milnerton franchise, is for young upwardly mobile couples to buy the less expensive homes which are in dire need of renovation and then gradually upgrade them while living there.

This practice, said Zieve, has given Milnerton a popular image and today it is increasingly occupied by these sparky young couples (usually with a combined monthly income in the region of R70,000), who have young children, entertain regularly and they are enthusiastic participants in water sport and golf for which the area is now well known. They also, he said, tend to like retail therapy and nearby Century City is ideal for this. A further reason for them being attracted to Milnerton is its 12 km distance from the Cape Town CBD and the V&A Waterfront.

Couples looking for homes in need of an upgrade often do so because by Milnerton’s standards they are reasonably inexpensive, i.e. priced at around R1.9 million to R2.250 million. As soon as the house is in good condition its price will inevitably increase, said Zieve, from anything between R2.8 million and R5 million.

What has to be realised, added Zieve, is that most of these innovative young couples thoroughly enjoy upgrading their homes and are good at renovation work.

“They see it as being a fun task and not a chore.”

The stock shortages in Milnerton on which he has previously reported are still being encountered, said Zieve, and correctly priced homes do sell fast. Recently Zieve was involved in the sale of a sectional title unit (he is not usually involved in this field, but he was requested to handle this project by the client) and the advertisement attracted no less than 23 phone calls from interested enquirers. The unit, which is tenanted with the tenant holding a long term lease, was sold at close to R700 000 within 72 hours. Right now, said Zieve, he can offer potential buyers freestanding houses priced at R2,8 million, R3,6 million, R4,2 million and R4,95 million. All of these, he said, are definitely worth looking at.

In hot markets such as that prevailing in Milnerton today, added Zieve, canvassing and marketing have to be highly sophisticated and quick off the mark. He himself communicates with a database of some 1000 people and sends SMSes to them offering free valuations and advertising of the latest properties. An information dissemination campaign of this size, he said, will always attract a response.

Asked if he foresees the market continuing to rise year-on-year (he believes that for the last three years the annual increase has been in region of 15%), Zieve said that the demand is so strong that he cannot see it easing off. However, South Africa’s economic issues are likely to result in slower price rises by the end of year. These, he said, will still be in the region of 10%, which is way above the national average.