Areas and Places

Cape Town’s stock selling like hot cakes, despite short supply

For Cape sellers, it is still an opportune time to sell, especially if you are in the right area and price band according to Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff property group.

The demand for property across the metro, from entry level apartments to luxury homes on the Atlantic Seaboard continues its strong showing and with most of the old stock now gone, new listings are selling, and fast!

Seeff says that new listings are still by and large coming onto the market at a trickling pace and most of the agency’s branches, not just in the main metropolitan suburbs, but as far as Somerset West and Stellenbosch continue citing a shortage of good sellable stock.

Propstats data for key Cape locations also bear out the still favorable selling conditions.

Overall sales for the metro for the period January to end April 2016, amounts to R6.136bn, equating to a healthy R1.5bn in sales turnover per month. That is still about 25% up on the value traded in 2013 and 35% higher than 2010.

“Properties are also still selling almost twice as fast as what the case was five years ago”, says Seeff. “The overall average difference between the asking and selling price for the metro is still only about 6.4%. Notably, up to a third of transactions concluded this year have been for just about or full asking price”.

While the overall time on the market for the metro is 74 days (about 10 weeks), in reality almost half of transactions are still concluded within a day to a month of listing.

“If you are a seller in a high demand area and your property is not selling, then”, says Seeff, “you need to relook your agent or price”.

James Lewis, Principal for Seeff Southern Suburbs, Hout Bay and Llandudno says that sectional title apartments in close proximity to tertiary institutions, specifically Rondebosch is in such short supply that a single new listing can attract up to 40 responses.

“Full title houses across the Southern Suburbs’ school belt present some of the best selling opportunities”, he says.

In short supply are houses priced to around R6 million in the Rondebosch area, up to R5 million in Claremont, up to R4 million in Lynfrae and under the R3.5 million price mark in the Bergvliet area.

The closer your property is to the school or varsity route, the higher the demand and the better the price that you are likely to achieve. Charmaine Scott-Wilson, Rondebosch agent for example says that houses close to Bishops can achieve upwards of R10 million. “Anything below the R4 million price band sells very quickly and for a good price too”, she adds.

Barbara van der Westhuyzen and Vanessa Clerke say the position is very similar for Newlands. Here, the highest demand is in the R4 million to R6 million price band.

The lower Constantia, Constantia Hills and Rural Constantia areas are also experiencing a shortage of homes around the R4 million to R5 million price range, especially renovated properties according to agent, Faith Knight.

According to Ms Billy Rautenbach, Sales Manager for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl, the area continues to experience notable stock shortages in the sub-R3 million price band for apartments and below R15 million for houses.

The City Bowl area is experiencing some of the worst stock shortages in years according to agents, Michele Apperley and Colette Jackson. Family houses on plots sized upwards of 500sqm in the R5 million to R12 million price range are in high demand and short supply right now. Good security and direct access from garages into the homes are some of the things that buyers are asking for according to the agents.

The rise in traffic across the metro has resulted in a surge in demand for homes in the area, but Apperley and Jackson say that foreign and especially Joburg buyers are contributing to the still high demand.
“We have plenty of cash-ready buyers, but just not enough properties on the market. The data for single title houses sold in the City Bowl for this year, confirms the demand and quick turnaround times with more than 60% of sales concluded within a month of listing according to the agents”.

On the Atlantic Seaboard, suburbs such as Sea Point, Green Point, Three Anchor Bay and the Bo Kaap continue seeing high demand and a shortage of family houses in the R4 million to R10 million range according to agents, Jessica Rother and Debbie Koping.

Single title houses in Sea Point are for example selling for on average within 5% of the asking price and just about all of the sales were concluded within a month of listing. This is a clear signal of the still favourable selling conditions, add Rother and Koping.

While there is now an oversupply of stock in the R35 million-plus range on the Atlantic Seaboard, there is a severe shortage of houses below R15 million according to agents, Lance Cohen and Karen Lurie.
The majority of houses sold across the Atlantic Seaboard this year, are priced below the R15 million price mark. Anything in the R7 million to R15 million range in Bantry Bay, Fresnaye and Clifton is snapped up almost as soon as it comes onto the market.

Aside from local buyers, a constant stream of Joburg buyers are also boosting the demand here, say the agents.

Camps Bay agents, Pola and Nadine Jocum echo the sentiment and note that in the case of Camps Bay, almost any well-priced home below the R8 million to R12 million range is snapped up quite quickly. An older home in Upper Tree Road that we listed for R8.9 million for example sold within days of coming onto our books, such is the demand still.

Even luxury houses in the R15 million to R20 million range are still experiencing strong demand, say the Jocums.

Luxury apartments in the R7 million to R9 million price range in areas such as Fresnaye, Bantry Bay and Sea Point are also in short supply. Agents, Adrian Mauerberger and Cecily Sher, say that buyers are mostly looking for a bit more space now, preferably an apartment that can accommodate a family with three bedrooms. Buyers comprise locals looking to scale down as well as upcountry buyers aspiring to a seaside location.

Aside from the rising demand for residential apartments, the opportunity to capitalize on the demand for short-term lets on the Airbnb system is also fueling the demand for apartments across the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl.

Sectional title agents, Hilary Biccari and Warren Emett, note that the R2 million to R3 million price range in areas such as Sea Point and Green Point and Three Anchor Bay is seeing the highest demand.

Alan Screen says the position is very similar in the CBD and De Waterkant with apartments priced to R3 million selling within about a month on average. In the CBD, the average difference between the asking and selling price is under 5% and the average selling price for apartments at R2.1 million, up from around R1.9 million for the same period last year.