The unassuming South Peninsula suburb of Lakeside was for many years dismissed as an unfashionable area one passed on the way to Muizenberg, but this has changed dramatically recently with the average house price increasing by 50% since the beginning of 2012 in a revitalized, seemingly bullet-proof market.
Dawn Bloch, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says: “The market initially peaked during the 2007 boom when the average sale price of a house in Lakeside jumped to R1.1 million which is where it hovered for five years until the recovering market and surge in demand for property in the Cape nudged it up to R1.3m by the end of 2011″.
“As prices in the surrounding suburbs like Tokai, Bergvliet and Meadowridge became increasingly unaffordable for young families and first time buyers, more and more investors began to notice Lakeside’s appeal and excellent value and by the end of 2015, the average house price had breached the R2m mark”.
“And properties with spectacular views of Zandvlei and the False Bay coastline on the mountainside are now achieving selling prices of up to R6m.”
There are also a lot of older, well-constructed apartment blocks with spacious units which can still be bought for under R1m.
Although almost 60% of the current residents are in the 50-plus age group and have owned their homes for 11 years or longer, this is rapidly changing with Lightstone data revealing that 40% of all recent buyers during the past year were aged 35 or younger.
Bloch says: “The suburb has been notably transformed by the buoyed market and evolving resident demographic. Ongoing property upgrades have revived the area substantially and the atmosphere is more vibrant than it has been in decades”.
“There are still a few areas where properties are old and in need of renovation, but most new buyers upgrade their homes and the standard is fairly high.”
It’s not only locals who are being attracted by Lakeside’s considerable charms. Bloch says that their office in Tokai is now regularly receiving enquiries from foreign investors, with most being from Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom.
“Our International website is very active at the moment with many foreign buyers looking for affordable homes as well as luxury properties in Cape Town.”
However, as Lakeside joins the ranks of Cape Town’s more sought-after suburbs, it is also experiencing a shift in the supply/demand ratio.
“Demand is starting to exceed supply and we are now seeing immediate response to new advertisements as well as an increasing number of keen buyers registering to be alerted to new listings on websites”
The rental market has also experienced a significant upswing, but there is very little stock to meet the high demand.
“There has been a marked increase in investment buying as the accessible prices and great demand for rental properties offer buyers very attractive returns and around 30% of property sales are now investment purchases”.
“I have just sold a property for R2.15m to an investor who will place a tenant immediately.”
Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says that the renewed market and spike in demand has also spurred retail and commercial development in the area.
“Many new shops and restaurants as well as several small shopping centres have sprung up in the area but the real measure of growth in a suburb is when the major players increase their footprint”.
“Woolworths started as a modest store in the Old Bakery Centre and it is now a modern, upmarket destination store twice the original size. Organic Zone has also morphed into a fully-fledged supermarket from its humble beginnings as a small shop selling organic vegetables.”
“However, despite Lakeside’s growth, it has maintained its charming village ambience,” says Geffen.
“Residents enjoy the best of both worlds; the peaceful suburban atmosphere of the Southern Suburbs and the unique outdoor lifestyle of False Bay with easy access to the Zandvlei Nature Reserve, several beaches as well as numerous scenic hiking and biking trails. The suburb is also in close proximity to excellent sporting facilities, The Imperial Yacht Club and The Westlake Golf Club.”