Areas and Places

Atlantic Seaboard, City Bowl shrugs economic woes, first quarter sales almost at R2bn

Seeff has sold two one-bedroomed apartments in the canal-facing Juliette complex at R7.41M and R6.5M respectively, the latter at a notable highest price of R89,277/sqm.

So far, the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl areas seem to have shrugged the economic woes and interest rate hikes with sales for the first quarter of this year already at just under the R2bn mark.

This, despite a number of economic setbacks including three interest rate hikes since the start of summer and further hikes in property and personal taxes along with higher capital gains tax (CGT) rates. The latter in particular set to impact property sellers and buyers here according to Ian Slot, Seeff’s managing director for the areas.

These top end, mostly cash markets with wealthy buyers tend to be able to withstand economic fluctuation and interest rate hikes, but this is not to say that the market is immune, says Slot. We are currently looking at some serious economic challenges and to see the market holding steady thus far, is very encouraging.

The sales data for the first quarter shows that prices are still holding firm, good news not just for sellers, but also for property owners. For buyers too, this reaffirms their confidence in investing in the area.

Slot says that as predicted, the bulk of the sales were below the R10M to R15M price band.

There has though been good activity at the top end of the market with a number of high value transactions concluded on the Atlantic Seaboard over the summer to date, ranging to R34M and R45M in Bantry Bay and as much as R70M in Clifton, all Seeff sales.

Overall, it is still the Atlantic Seaboard where the bulk of the sales activity is taking place with the mid-market areas of Sea Point, Green Point and surrounds dominating insofar as the number of units sold.

The top five suburbs – Clifton, Camps Bay, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye and the Waterfront – dominate the rand-value, accounting for almost 70% of the value of all sales, amounting to just over R990M for the first quarter so far.

“The average sales price for the Atlantic Seaboard for this year is standing at almost R7.7M, slightly up year-on-year from the first quarter 2015 when it was about R7.5M, clearly demonstrating the resilience of the market”, says Slot.

The City Bowl average sales price meanwhile is up year-on-year by a whopping R1M, from R2.4M for the January to March 2015 period to R3.4M for the same period this year.

In the City Bowl too, it is the mid-market CBD area that dominates with about 50 apartment sales, accounting for almost half of all sales activity in the area, says Slot. From a value perspective, areas such as Higgovale, Oranjezicht, and Tamboerskloof stand out with sales ranging to R17.5M and R18M in Higgovale and R23M in Oranjezicht.

The most active price band across the City Bowl has been predominantly below the R5M price mark with only about a dozen or so sales above this, mostly in the areas noted above.

The sectional title sector especially remains buoyant across the entire area, from the Atlantic Seaboard through to the CBD and City Bowl suburbs as far as Vredehoek and Zonnebloem. The most active price band in the mid-market areas is the sub-R2.5M price range and in the luxury areas of the Atlantic Seaboard, units priced to around the R10M to R15M mark are still moving fairly quickly according to Slot.

Freehold houses in the sub-R8M price band in the City Bowl suburbs and on the Atlantic Seaboard areas such as Sea Point remain in high demand. Insofar as the top end areas are concerned, from Camps Bay and Clifton through to Fresnaye and Bantry Bay, freehold houses priced to around the R15M to R20M range are especially sought after.

“On the whole, we are still seeing fairly quick turn-around times with well-priced homes selling within a day to a month and for excellent prices. About half of all sales are still for the full or very close to the asking price. This is a clear signal that the market is not just healthy, but that it is still a good time to sell”, says Slot.

Seeff’s Camps Bay teams have for example concluded a number of sales that demonstrate this. Pola and Nadine Jocum sold an older three-bedroomed home with lovely views for the full asking price of R8.9M within a week of listing and another, located close to the beach for close to the asking price of R10.25M in under two weeks.

The agents also sold a luxury four-bedroomed home in the new Little Glen Views development for R13.05M (plus VAT) and jointly with agents, Rochelle Serman and Lyn Pope, two properties, an apartment and luxury penthouse in Shanklin Crescent for the full asking price of R29.5M (plus VAT) within a month of listing.

At the V&A Waterfront, agent, Finella Botes sold two one-bedroomed units in the canal-facing Juliette complex for R7.41M and R6.5M, the latter being the full asking price and at a notable highest price of R89,277/sqm. A two-bedroomed unit in Altmore, also on the canals, sold for R11.286M, just about the full asking price.

Slot says that stock shortages remain a challenge for agents, not just well-priced apartments and homes in Sea Point and Green Point, but across all areas. Even top end areas such as Camps Bay, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye and Clifton is still experiencing significant stock shortages. Our agents in these areas are saying that there is still nowhere near enough stock to show buyers.

“The message to the market is still very positive with buyers aplenty. Seeff is not alone in its sentiment about the good activity here either”, says Slot.

The Cape property market has become the benchmark for the country’s residential real estate sector, he adds. This is basically where the trends start, from the inner city CBD regeneration and the rise of apartment living and chic city pads to the Waterfront Marina and the luxury of seaside living on the Atlantic Seaboard.

“Whatever trends here, is soon emulated in Johannesburg, Pretoria and even on Durban’s north coast and, while multi-million rand developments are mushrooming country-wide, it is only really still on the Atlantic Seaboard where buyers are dropping the multi-millions”, he says.

“That which makes the area so attractive, the mountains, the sea, the views and lifestyle is here to stay”, he adds. The area held up well post 2007/8 and at least for this year, we expect very positive trade.