If you are a seller, then the suburbs of the City Bowl is where you want to be right now. Seeff’s freehold property agents for the area say that sellers here still have plenty of reason to smile with prices still climbing.
Sales are still taking place within about one to two months and the price discount is on average only about 5% to 6%.
The average selling price in most areas are also up year-on-year, peaking by as much as R4m higher in the case of Higgovale and R2.2m in the case of Oranjezicht.
“It is still very much a sellers’ market here. Activity remains fairly on par, perhaps only slightly down compared to last year” according to Colette Jackson and Michele Apperley who say that about two houses, sometimes more, still sell on average each week.
Oranjezicht has been particular busy with 29 freehold houses already sold this year at an average price of R9.505m, a significant R2.2m higher than last year’s average price of R7.742m. At least ten of the sales were priced above the R10 million price mark. Houses have also sold for within a remarkable 34 days on average and at price discount of just 6.2% on average.
“In neighbouring Higgovale, about 13 freehold houses have sold at an average price of R14.061m, an even more remarkable almost R4m higher than last year’s average price of R10.98m. And, most of the sales have been above the R10m price band. Properties have sold for on average within 30-60 days from listing and at an average price discount of 10%”.
Although Oranjezicht and Higgovale are attracting higher prices, the agents caution sellers against unrealistic pricing. “Choose your realtor wisely”, say Jackson and Apperley. “Creating an ‘auction’ will not necessarily guarantee you your price”.
Tamboerskloof meanwhile has already clocked up 15 freehold house sales at an average price of R8.487m, only marginally up from last year’s average of R8.318m. Most of the sales have been below the R10m price band. It is the only suburb in the City Bowl where sales are taking longer than two months on average and the price discount exceeds 10%, currently being around 11.5% on average.
Another very busy suburb, is Vredehoek where some 21 freehold houses have sold at an average price of R5.337m, up by about 14% from the R4.695m average of 2015. Most of the sales have been below the R5.5m mark as the suburb continues to attract buyers for its affordability and trendy lifestyle according to Doris Ricketts and Michael Hauser.
Neighbouring Gardens meanwhile has seen some 16 freehold sales at an average price of R5.849m, a notable R1.3m or 31% higher than last year’s average price of R4.46m. Almost all of the properties have sold within a month of listing and at a price discount of about 5.4% on average.
“Devil’s Peak remains a very small slice of the City Bowl pie with just two sales at an average price of R3.425m. Both Vredehoek and Gardens continue to attract buyers looking to get into the City Bowl, but preferably below the R8m price range”, says Ricketts and Hauser.
The agents say that there is still a severe shortage of stock. At times, there is nothing to show buyers, such is the demand. Ricketts and Hauser say that this is especially relevant to the R5m to R12m price range. “This is also the price sector where sellers are likely to see quicker sales and achieve better prices. We are even seeing sellers getting more than their asking prices right now”.
Character homes with good flow, a garden suitable for young children and with views are especially in demand. Jackson and Apperley add that larger family homes with three or more bedrooms and parking are also in high demand.
“The flip side of the market here right now”, say Ricketts and Hauser “is that buyers should think twice before walking away from a deal as they may not find the same property at the same price. If you look at the stats as far back as the height of the recession post 2007/8, the City Bowl market held steady. So, even if you have to pay a bit more for a property here right now, the odds are that you will not overcapitalize as we have not seen a drop in values, only growth”.
“The message is simple”, adds Jackson and Apperley: “if you like the house, buy it, but do not submit too lower an offer as there are still multiple buyers and multiple offers in the City Bowl. To get ahead in queue, be sure to secure pre-qualification so that you are prepared financially and you should also get all of the pertinent documentation together”.
The City Bowl delivers on location, lifestyle and capital value growth. Despite being on the fringes of the bustling CBD, the City Bowl suburbs are fairly tranquil, offering a laid-back lifestyle, yet with easy access to top schools and amenities.
The area is regarded as an excellent investment and the market is still buoyant with excellent prices being achieved. “This”, says Ricketts and Hauser, “may well be a short-lived window as there is still the credit downgrade looming in December. Nonetheless, if you are still looking to sell, we would recommend that you get into the market now while the opportunity to achieve a higher price is still there”.