If you are a seller, then Cape Town is most certainly the place to be. Aside from local demand, the constant influx of people to the metro from other provinces is keeping estate agents busy and the outlook for the remainder of the year positive
“Cape Town’s buyer appeal is not just local, but global”, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff group.
The buyer influx is also boosted by interest from across the world. Pre-2007/8, it was mostly UK and northern Europeans investing in property in the Cape and, the odd American buying mostly in the Winelands. Over the last five years, the appeal is much wider with buyers now coming from every continent and almost 30 different countries – from Russia, Singapore and China to the India, the UAE, Italy, Argentina and many more.
Since around 2012, Africa’s wealthy, such as buyers from Nigeria and Kenya, too are heading to the city and investing millions in real estate. Even South African buyers, will pay up to 40% more for property in top end suburbs of the Atlantic Seaboard such as Clifton, compared to Sandhurst and other wealthy suburbs in Johannesburg.
“This”, says Seeff, “is keeping demand across the metro and the whole of the Cape, quite healthy. Despite the overall decline in sales volumes, the latest Propstats data still shows that well-priced Cape property is still selling within about 4-6 weeks and at a discount of just 5%-6% on average. In reality, many sellers are getting almost their full asking price”.
This is still remarkably better than five years ago when the time on the market was almost 16 weeks (about 108 days) and sellers had to discount their prices by 10%-20%.
The data shows that the Cape metro closed off the first few months of this year with a well-balanced market. In the sub-R2m to R3m sector, homes are still selling with a 1-4 weeks (one month) of coming onto the market if priced right and, for just about the full asking price.
If your property is taking longer or you are battling to get your price, then Seeff says that it is perhaps time to relook your price or agent.
Propstats provides a good overview of agency sales and it shows the South Eastern Suburbs, including suburbs such as Rondebosch East and Landsdowne, to be the fastest selling area in the city at 4 weeks (30 days) on average although sellers have to discount their prices by almost 10%.
Constantiaberg and City Bowl property sells within about 6 weeks (43 and 46 days respectively), but sellers’ discounts are only about 6.6% – 6.7%.
In the Constantiaberg area, properties below the R5m price band though can sell within four weeks on average according to James Lewis, Principal for Seeff Southern Suburbs, Hout Bay and Llandudno.
Even above the R10m price band, sales are still taking place within about 7-8 weeks (55 days) of listing and, almost all of the sales were concluded at a price discount of less than 5%.
Other areas within the Southern Suburbs are also still seeing notably fast sales cycles, adds Lewis.
Newlands has for example recorded an average period on the market for the first five months of this year of just over 7 weeks (50 days). Rondebosch on the other hand is selling within 5-6 weeks (39 days) and for about 5% below the asking prices.
In reality, well-priced property sells fast. Seeff for example recently sold a luxury four-bedroomed home in a gated estate in Constantia for the full asking price of R13.9m within 2 days of listing it. In Newlands, Seeff sold a three-bedroomed family home for R5.6m, just 3.5% below the asking price and within less than 3 weeks of listing it.
“Pinelands property too is selling within about 4-6 weeks on average if priced accurately”, says Johan Meyer, Seeff’s licensee for the area.“There is though quite a bit of price volatility evident with some sellers having to discount their asking prices by more than 10%”.
Not in all case though as Meyer says his office recently sold a home in Mareola Way within 11 days of listing for the full asking price of R3.59m.
Ms Billy Rautenbach, Sales Manager for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl says that although City Bowl property sells within about 6 weeks (46 days), well-priced property, especially apartments in the CBD are spending just 4 weeks on average on the market and, almost half of all recent sales were concluded for the full asking price.
“Blouberg and False Bay, both highly sought-after seaside areas, each boast an average time on the market of 8 weeks (55 days), but where the price discount for the Blouberg area is just 4.7%, it is about 7.6% for False Bay on the whole”.
Gary Grobbelaar, CEO for False Bay and the South Eastern Suburbs says that some individual suburbs though are offering excellent turnaround times for sellers.
“Noordhoek and Fish Hoek properties for example sells within 4-5 weeks (30 and 37 days respectively) on average. Muizenberg on the other hand is taking a bit longer at 6-7 weeks (47 days), possibly as there is quite a bit of overpricing”.
“The position is even better when you look at individual agent results”, says Grobbelaar.“Seeff’s records for example show that our agents are achieving sales in under 6 weeks on average across the False Bay area. In Muizenberg and Simon’s Town for example, it is just 3.75 and 4.4 weeks respectively and in Fish Hoek, just 2.4 weeks in Fish Hoek”.
On the Blouberg coast, accurately priced properties are actually selling within about 4-5 weeks (one month) according to Clinton Martle, Seeff’s managing executive for the area. Almost two thirds of recent sales were concluded for just about full price.
Martle says that the Blouberg area is still booming. Almost the whole of Parklands and Sunningdale looks like a construction site as residential and commercial buildings are going up at a rapid pace. Construction has also started on the new 90.000sqm Table Bay Mall, set to become the biggest mall in the area.
“Further development plans also includes a new R140bn city, called Wescape almost adjacent to Melkbosstrand. You can only imagine what this is going to do for growth in the area”, says Martle.
The best-selling suburbs for now are Parklands and Table View where almost half of all recent sales were concluded for the full asking price and the remainder at a minimal discount of about 3.2% – 4.1% on average.
The Atlantic Seaboard, currently stands at an average time on the market of 8 weeks (60 days) according to Ms Rautenbach.
While the price discount for Hout Bay is about 7.7% on average, it is 9.2% for the Atlantic Seaboard as a whole, but drops to about 5% for the mid-market sub-R5m sector of the market. This is still remarkably better than five years ago when the average time on the market was almost 18 weeks and the price discount about 10%-20%.
“If we take the really old stock anomalies out of the equation, sales in Clifton and Bantry Bay, although not at spectacularly high prices this year, were concluded for well within 4 weeks while Fresnaye property is spending about 8 weeks on average on the market. The price discounts though are only about 5% – 9% on average”.
Sea Point sectional title specialists, Hilary Biccari and Warren Emett say that sales in the suburb is taking place at an overall average of about 4 weeks (28 days). “If you remove the anomalies though, you are looking at around 3-7 days and, the price discount is now almost negligible”.
“While Hout Bay property spends about 8 weeks (60 days) on average on the market, well-priced homes can sell within a month according to Seeff’s Sales Manager, Stephan Cross. We for example recently launched a new four-townhouse development with homes priced at R3.85m. Before we could even get the marketing going, we had already sold two units”, he adds.
Seeff says that in many areas, there is a growing tendency by competing agents to over-inflate the expected sales prices to secure mandates.
“The data shows that these properties can sit on the market for as long as 12-30 weeks (and more) and sellers end up having to discount their prices by 11% to 23%; clearly not a desirable situation for sellers or the market”, he concludes.