Heavy demand is fueling a shortage of sectional title apartments in popular Hout Bay – and those that are listed for sale are now very quickly taken up, says Greg Walton, co-principal of Chas Everitt International in Hout Bay.
“For example, three two-bedroom apartments we listed recently at prices from R1,75m to R1,85m were all sold within the week. I had three buyers on my first show house”.
“Now the off-plan apartments we have just launched in The Willowdale, a new 10-unit development planned for the corner of Empire Avenue and Cecil Street, are attracting just as much interest. We’ve sold two of the two-bedroom, two-bathroom units already and are closing the deal on a third.”
He says the demand for sectional title homes in Hout Bay has risen on the back of a growing trend towards down scaling: “From a cost, security and maintenance perspective, buyers are increasingly seeking smaller, lock-up-and-go style properties”.
“And the competitive pricing of the units in The Willowdale, which will feature top-drawer finishes like stone quartz counter tops and state-of- the-art appliances including Geberit and Grohe in the bathrooms and Bosch in the kitchens, undoubtedly adds to their appeal”.
“The units are also a good size – 85sqm – and priced from R2,487m to R2,735m a unit. That’s an average of R31 000/sqm. This compares well with, say, Observatory, where similar sectional title properties are going at R35 000/sqm, the City Bowl where they cost R40 000/sqm, or Newlands, where they’re fetching up to R45 000/sqm.”
For investors, Hout Bay also offers excellent returns, says Walton. “Twelve-month rentals of R30 000 to R35 000 a month on three- to four-bedroom homes are the norm, while smaller two- to three-bedroom properties are easily fetching between R20 000 and R22 000 a month, and a small two-bedroom, no-frills apartment will go for R10 000 to R15 000 a month. You’re looking at a rental return of at least 7% on the apartments in The Willowdale.”
In general, the Hout Bay property market is nothing if not robust, he says. “In the past three years, we’ve seen house prices increase by 60% and apartments by 70%. Our biggest problem right now is lack of stock. Where last year there were some 560 properties on the market in the area, this year we’re looking at around 430 and this is what has driven prices up so much. The average price for a two-bedroom home in Hout Bay is now R2,9m.”
Walton says buyers are a mixed bag: “Young professionals are drawn to Hout Bay for its proximity to the city – just 25 minutes in traffic. With a sheltered beach, mountains and even vineyards, the area is also seen as a prime tourist destination and both upcountry buyers and foreigners are scrambling for a piece of the local property pie.”
Designed by Stephen J Forster Architects and developed by Pearson Developments, all units in The Willowdale will boast valley, wetland and mountain views, he says.
The building will be spread over three levels and each apartment will have a generous 9sqm tiled balcony, a separate laundry and two underground parking bays. Energy-efficient heat pumps will reduce water-heating costs by 40% and LED lighting will be used throughout.
Walton says the building will also be fully enclosed by electric fencing and is located within walking distance of the beach and a stone’s throw from Victoria Road, Hout Bay’s main city-access road, making it an ideal residence for young professionals and families alike.
Construction on The Willowdale is scheduled to begin in January. Buyers are required to pay a R20 000 reservation deposit subject to 90% bond approval through BetterLife Home Loans.