While the average house price across the country continues climbing above the R1m price band, especially in the Cape metro, it is refreshing to know that there are still plenty to buy below this level on the south eastern side of the city.
Two of these areas are the neighboring suburbs of Ottery and Grassy Park that rank among the most affordable and sought-after suburbs, especially for first time buyers according to Gary Grobbelaar, CEO of Seeff’s operations in the False Bay/SE Suburbs’ areas.
“The south eastern suburbs are the fastest selling areas in the city with properties spending about four weeks on average on the market. This is probably no surprise as home buyers, especially first timers, look to get a foothold in the most affordable areas while they still can”, he says.
“While low on price though, Ottery and Grassy Park, score high on value on offer as well as access and facilities”, he adds.
The suburbs lie adjacent to the M5-motorway on the way to Muizenberg and, Grassy Park in fact runs right down to the beach. These areas form part of what is traditionally referred to as the Cape Flats.
Residents enjoy a laid-back lifestyle, access to excellent infrastructure, lovely views of the False Bay coastline and towards the rear, Table Mountain and the southern suburbs.
Agents, Lynette Bartleson and Antoinette Hartnick, say that Ottery is home to about 4500 residents. There are about 1491 freehold houses along with about 247 sectional title scheme and a few estate houses in the area. Almost half of all recent buyers are under the age of 35 and they are quite often first time buyers.
Grobbelaar says that the affordability is well-illustrated by the fact that the average price of a freehold house is still around R1m and around R700.000 for sectional title property based on the latest Lightstone transfer data. While still very affordable, prices have risen nicely year-on-year and are now about 50% higher compared to 2010.
The agents also point out that an advantage for buyers is the fact that there is a diverse selection of property on offer, from small two-bedroomed cottages priced around R400.000 to three-bedroomed houses priced at R750.000 to R1 million. Larger, more modern houses though range to about R1.7m for four bedrooms.
Sectional title properties are quite hard to come by given that prices start at just R300.000 for a two-bedroomed flat and range to about R700.000 for a three-bedroomed townhouse”.
“More than 90% of the labor force in the area are employed and almost 70% of homes have been in the same hands for 11 years and longer”, say the agents.
There are several sub-areas within Ottery with Royal Cape ranking the highest in valuation, followed by Woodlands Park, Ferness, Ottery East and Wetton.
Ottery offers its residents excellent access to amenities including schools such as Ferndale and Battswood Primary Schools, Ottery High School along with shopping facilities such as China town, the Ottery Shopping Centre and the Ottery Value Centre. There is also a Crawford Campus, police station and a new driving license testing centre.
The Palms, is a new security estate that offers two and three-bedroomed townhouses, priced from R699.000 to R899.000 located in the Ferness Estate area of Ottery.
Neighbouring Grassy Park is surrounded by fynbos and a diverse range of wildlife, wetlands and lakes on the one side and the ocean to the front, False Bay coast.
The area has almost 15 000 residents and also boasts a very stable contingent of property owners with almost 70% owning their homes for 11 years and longer according to area specialist, Denise Walpole.
Here too, it is freehold houses that dominate the area with about 3492 units along with about 369 sectional title units.
The freehold house price for Grassy Park is around R850.000, up by over 30% since 2010 while the average sectional title price is just R230.000 and has remained quite flat over the last few years, says Grobbelaar.
Walpole though notes that sectional title property on offer range from around R270.000 to R680.000 for a two-bedroomed unit. Houses start at around R750.000 and range to around R1.3m for an average three-bedroomed house, but can now range to almost R1.5m for a top class house in the area.