Areas and Places

Dynamic Green Point Village grows in popularity in buoyant market

This beautifully renovated double storey, Victorian home complete with broekie lace balconies boasts seamless open plan flow to a private entertainment and pool deck, three light and airy bedrooms, a conservatory and a gourmet kitchen. R7.995 million.

Lower Green Point in Cape Town was traditionally regarded by many as more of an extension of the CBD than part of the renowned Atlantic Seaboard, but this has changed dramatically over the past decade and the once overlooked area is now one of the most dynamic and popular residential nodes in Cape Town with a buoyant property market.

In 2009 the majority of homes in Lower Green Point were still freehold with a scattering of old apartment blocks beginning to show signs of renovation and original three bedroom, two bathroom cottages were not only plentiful but also very affordable at between R2.1 million and R2.4m.

However, its transformation from dowdy to vibrant and trendy was accelerated by the construction of the Cape Town Stadium for the 2010 Soccer World Cup and the development of the Green Point Urban Park which spurred the Village’s urban renewal, impacting significantly on the property market.

This is according to Peter Simmons, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty who says that this placed the area squarely in the spotlight, attracting the interest of investors and developers. By 2011, the same properties were fetching between R2.7 and R3m, in spite of the sluggish post-crash market which was only beginning to recover elsewhere.

“The market has since shown no signs of slowing down, with the ongoing development between High Level Road and Main Road not only changing the property landscape in this area but also driving up property values and spurring demand”.

“These days only a handful of original Victorian homes remain and they are quickly snapped up when the do come onto the market, fetching between R3.5m and R4.5m depending on size and condition. Renovated houses in the Village can cost up to R7.9m.”

Vivienne Gottlieb, also an Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says that the scarcity of cottages hasn’t dampened the growing demand and, while they are generally more expensive than sectional title properties in the area, their municipal rates are often lower than levies in newer apartment complexes.

“We are finding that most of the demand is from local buyers, especially young families starting out. Although quite rare now, these properties still offer family homes at an accessible price, as well as a foot in the door of the thriving Atlantic Seaboard market.”

In sharp contrast to the house market is the apartment market which has undergone a total metamorphosis in the past six years with the transformation of many older blocks and modern upmarket new developments such as Cape Royal and The Legacy taking pride of place.

So says Brendan Miller, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Atlantic Seaboard CEO.

“Registered sales at the Deeds Office show that in 2010 the average apartment price in Green Point was R1.685m and by the end of 2015 the same property was selling for R2.8m, which is a very healthy return on investment in anyone’s book.”

Miller says that while apartments in the lower to mid-market segments in the R1.8m to R2.8m price band are still the most sought after, the top end of the market has shown considerable growth with some of the highest sales volumes recorded over the past 18 months being in the newer high-end blocks.

“During this period, several of the most popular blocks recording 10 sales or more were in Lower Green Point, including Cape Royale with 34 sales to the value of R101m at an average high of R4.35m, Devonshire with 20 sales worth R43m average high of R3.3m, and Winston Place with 10 sales worth R21m at average high of R2.95m”.

“At the booming lower end of the market, in 2015 we saw 88 apartments sell for below R2.5m which is a steal for prime Atlantic Seaboard property.”

Miller adds that considerable value can be added to many of these older flats with a little modernisation at minimal cost.

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty says that the apartment market in the Village has also spit from the house market in terms of its buyer demographic.

“While local families tend to prefer houses, we are finding that apartments are increasingly favored by foreign and corporate investors”.

“Both enjoy the lock-up-and-go convenience and the security that apartments offer as well as the fact that these are generally the only properties which offer views in Lower Green Point.”

Lower Green point also has an active rental market with most properties realising inflation beating rental returns although this market sector is also experiencing stock shortages.

Geffen adds: “The renewal and upgrade of the suburb has most definitely contributed significantly to the phenomenal market growth experienced in the Village, but a key factor in its continued prosperity and long term investment stability is its conveniently central location and close proximity to the fast-developing CBD and V&A Waterfront”.

“Lower Green Point is within easy walking distance of town and the Waterfront and many excellent restaurants and shops are just a stroll away on Main Road. Visitors who want to go slightly further afield to Clifton or the City Bowl can just hop on a My Citi bus or catch a taxi”.

Geffen concludes: “The Green Point Village is no longer the poor relation on the Atlantic Seaboard; it is instead a highly sought after suburb with a thriving property market which is showing increasing stability and consistently offers investors an excellent return on investment and the anticipation of future growth.”