When it comes to city property, Century City is just about as hot as it gets according to Helga Clemo, Seeff’s licensee for the area. High demand and depleting stock levels has seen prices of residential property in the suburb spike by some 50%-plus in under three years.
“The suburb that stands as an oasis in the city with stunning views of Table Mountain and over the city out to sea, ranks as one of the most sought-after for its location and centrality. You have direct access to the N1 and are just fifteen minutes from the CBD and southern suburbs”, says Clemo.
“It is also a very aesthetically appealing suburb with modern developments, palm-tree lined cobbled streets, water canals and is just about the ideal live, work and play neighbourhood that you could ask for”.
Aside from many businesses that operate in the area or have their head offices there, there are a number of hotels including the five-star Crystal Towers Hotel and Spa along with restaurants and coffee shops and the Canal Walk mega mall.
Although still growing, Century City is now home to a good mix of sectional title complexes and freehold property located in estates.
“It is no surprise then, that whatever new development pops up sells out quickly”, says Clemo. Where many surrounding suburbs are reporting a slow-down in activity, we are still seeing an active market with a shortage of stock and prices consequently continuing to rise.
Sellers are not just achieving good prices, but often even more than what they anticipated, such is the demand. According to Lightstone data, the median selling price for a sectional unit in 2013 was R1.35 million. By last year, this had increased to R1.72 million, thus climbing by some 27% in just two years.
A standard two-bedroomed apartment that would have sold for R1.2 million in 2013 is for example now selling for R1.9 million, some 58% more in under three years.
“This year, we are seeing apartments achieving on average R1.5 million for a one-bedroomed unit, as much as R2 million for two bedrooms and R2.8 million for three bedrooms. Prices do vary greatly though depending on the complex and Clemo says that those overlooking the canals for example tend to fetch the highest prices”.
“The annual sales volumes tend to be influenced by new developments”, adds Clemo. The number of complex sales fluctuates as there have been many new sectional scheme developments completed recently and still more to come. With the exception of five townhouses within the new Ashton Park development, there have been no new freehold properties built in Century City.
“The majority of buyers tend to be in the 36-year plus age bracket and the area is popular with older buyers”, says Clemo. Century City is a high earning income area with relatively high living costs compared to the neighboring suburbs and therefore attracts buyers who are top earners.
The suburb also caters for retirees with the Oasis Luxury Resort that offers units priced in the R2.5 million to R8 million price range, thus pitched at top end retirement buyers according to the licensee.
The Century City market still favors sellers and based on Seeff’s recent sales, sellers are achieving on average within about 98% of their asking price. Clemo notes though that buyers are astute and are not willing to overpay, so accurate pricing remains paramount for serious sellers.
Clemo notes further that it is not just residential property, but commercial property is also performing well and seeing strong demand.
According to recent media reports, SAPOA (South African Property Owners Association) reported that Century City recorded a decrease in vacancy, from 12.2% in the third quarter of 2015 to 7.1% in the fourth quarter, notably lower than the national commercial property vacancy rate of 10.5% at the end of last year.
“Some of the exciting new commercial developments where there are still good opportunities for businesses include Grosvenor Square, Bridge Park, The Apex and The Annex”, says Clemo.
Rabie has satisfied the immense demand for property in Century City. Ashton Park was completed in 2015, offering an additional 140 apartments. Current developments include The Mayfair, The Matrix, Manhattan Quarter and the upcoming Waters Edge, offering another 394 apartments.
With so much still happening here, the excellent price growth and continued high demand for the lifestyle, you are assured that whether you are buying, selling or renting, Century City is the place to be.