The demand for houses and cottages in Harfield Village is now such that the average sales price has spiked by just over R220,000 from R2.228 million last year to R2,448m according to the latest Propstats data.
Sellers are getting excellent prices, just 2.4% on average below their asking prices compared to last year’s 3.5%.
The average time that properties are spending on the market is also down from last year’s 14 days to just 12 days.
Although less than two weeks on average, about two-thirds of sales were concluded in the period that stretches from the day of listing to within a week according to Deidre Tracey and Teodora Aleksieva, Seeff’s area specialists.
While home to just over 1200 properties and about 2330 residents, the little village is now one of the most sought-after and dynamic property markets in the Southern Suburbs.
Not even the cooler weather is keeping buyers away. Seeff’s show houses are always busy and we get about 10 new buyers for the area each week.
While more than half of the current property owners are aged fifty and older, the agents say that the area is getting younger.
Buyers are young professionals or couples who have up to now been residing in apartments, some renting and some owned.
“A large portion are coming from the City Bowl. For these buyers, Harfield Village is a more affordable option, yet offers the same trendy cosmopolitan lifestyle”, say Tracey and Aleksieva.
These young buyers are moving in, renovating and upgrading the old Victorian and Edwardian-styled cottages. This, despite the fact that many of the houses are semi-detached and only offer street parking. As you can imagine, a house with a bit of a yard and off-street parking is rare and tends to fetch a top price, add the agents.
Today, the area has a very Euro-cosmopolitan vibe with trendy cottages and hip business and restaurants that line Second Avenue and make for a very attractive café culture lifestyle. Once a year, the village hosts a popular carnival that attract scores of people for a day of fun, food and craft shopping.
Where the area was once somewhat run-down and property a bit of a bargain, it is now a bit pricier than Claremont itself. A two-bedroomed apartment for example now sells for upwards of R1.4m and a small house starts at about R2.3m.
Five years ago, almost nothing sold above the R3m price mark. This year, over 40% of sales have been above this price ranging to R3.295m and R3.395m.
Aside from being a very convenient suburb with all the amenities of Main Road including Cavendish Square just up the road, it is a great lifestyle suburb. Tracey says you can for example easily walk to a nearby restaurant for dinner or lunch or a Saturday afternoon outing.
“You also have access to top class schools including private schools that are just a short drive away”.
Lightstone data also shows that sellers have in some instances achieved excellent returns on resale. A home in Pembroke that was sold for 2.35m in February was bought in May 2014 for R1.78m, thus delivering a gross ROI of R570,000 (32%) in under two years
A home in Durham Street, also sold in February for R3.7m yielded a gross return on investment of R1.305m or 54% in just 8 months.
“A two bedroomed maisonette has also just sold for R100.000 above asking price and R300.000 more than the previous sale of a similar unit 10 months ago”, says Tracey.
“It is still very much a sellers’ market here and the high demand, quick sales turnaround and excellent prices should be a real incentive for sellers”, conclude the agents.