Areas and Places

Sub-R15 million luxury sector to pick up the slack on the Atlantic Seaboard, City Bowl

The sweet spot. Priced at R12.9M, this luxury 481sqm home is located high up in Highlands Estate and comes with fabulous views, six bedrooms, top class finishes and a salt water swimming pool.

“The sub-R15 million sector of the luxury market across the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl is likely to see the highest activity this year as the economy remains under pressure. We expect to see a shift to more value-seeking this year, a trend that already gathered momentum last year”.

That is the word from Seeff’s agents across the areas who believe that the R9-R15 million price band in particular will be the sweet spot not just for buyers, but also for sellers.

Ian Slot, Seeff’s managing director for the areas says that this trend is even more illuminated by the recent interest rate hike and the prospect of further interest and cost hikes. This price range is also where sellers are likely to get their best prices this year.

Sales in the sub-R15 million price band for the Atlantic Seaboard area for the 2015-year amount to about 70% of all activity for freehold houses sold, says Slot. Where the overall average difference between the asking price and selling price was about 10% for the year, it drops to about 8% for the sub-R15 million price band, thus demonstrating this to be the sweet spot for sellers.

Slot says the sub-R15 million price band is quite sizeable and activity on the Atlantic Seaboard alone amounted to about R3bn in value last year, so there is plenty of activity to look forward to. And, there are still a lot of serious buyers and sellers in this price bracket.

“For those still thinking about selling in the price band, now is certainly the time”
, he adds. Even at the top end of the Atlantic Seaboard, luxury market specialist and director, Lance Cohen says that areas such as Bantry Bay and Fresnaye will see active demand around the R10 million to R18 million price range.

Last year, more than half of all sales in Bantry Bay were below the R15 million price mark while almost 70% of all freehold sales in Fresnaye were below this price level according to agent, Karen Lurie.

Seeff’s Camps Bay agents expect a similar trend this year. While there were a number of R20 million-plus sales here last year, it was the sub-R15 million sector that saw the highest activity. Of the 69 freehold houses that sold last year, about 74% of sales were below R15 million, according to agents, Lyn Pope and Rochelle Serman.

This price band is also where sellers achieved the closest to their asking prices as it shows an average of about 5% difference between the asking and selling prices. This, says Pola and Nadine Jocum, shows that if sellers are realistic with their price expectations, they are likely to attract offers and a good price.

Freehold houses in the Green Point and Sea Point areas will continue seeing strong demand across the board according to agents, Jessica Rother and Debbie Koping. Houses under the R9-R10 million price band remain most in demand here.

Luxury sectional title agents, Adrian Mauerberger and Cecily Sher expect the R5 million to R9 million price band to be the most active this year with two and three-bedroomed apartments with views being most in demand.

Sales in the luxury sectional title sector above R3 million on the Atlantic Seaboard for the 2015 year amounted to about 269 units (including the V&A Waterfront) of which almost 80% were below the R9 million price mark, say the agents. The average difference between the asking and selling prices was just 5% with apartments often selling for just about or full asking price.

Sectional title properties that are accurately priced under the R9 million price mark are also still selling within anything from a week to a month, say the agents.

Seeff’s City Bowl agents meanwhile note that the R5 million to R10 million price band will be the sweet spot here for both buyers and sellers, especially for freehold property. This sector of the market picked up the bulk of the activity last year with about R400 million in sales for the year.

Seeff’s agents that specialise in the freehold sector believes that this price band will be very active this year. Buyers are still very keen to get a foothold in this sought-after area and they find the value still substantially better compared to the Atlantic Seaboard. Slot says you can find much more bang for your buck in the suburbs of the City Bowl, especially for family buyers.

Agents, Michael Hauser and Doris Rickets note that a 481sqm home with six bedrooms and five bathrooms located high up in Highlands Estate is for example priced at around R12.9 million. The finishes are top class, there is even a salt water swimming pool and the mountain and city views quite spectacular. You are unlikely to find anything close to this below R20 million on the Atlantic Seaboard, they add.

Another example, is a four-bedroomed home on a 543sqm plot in Higgovale that is priced at just R6.9 million. Agents, Michele Apperley and Colette Jackson says the views are fabulous and of course you are in the heart of the city with just about every facility and amenity right on hand including top schools.

Whether you are a buyer or a seller, the City Bowl property market should continue to you excite you, says Slot. The value for buyers is excellent and this will keep demand healthy throughout this year. The stock levels in the price range remains tight, thus great news for sellers.

“Freehold property sales across the City Bowl were concluded for about 6% on average within the asking price last year. More than half of the houses sold since about October last year, were concluded within a week to a month of listing. This should serve as added incentive for sellers”, concludes Slot.