The tranquil, unassuming suburb of Bergvliet in Cape Town’s Constantia Valley achieved record sale prices in 2016 despite the national economic slump, with average house prices increasing by some 10% since the end of 2015.
Leonie Wosk, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Bergvliet and Meadowridge, says at the end of 2015, the average sale price of a freestanding house had risen from R3.06 million in 2014 to R3.27m, increasing steadily to R3.57m by the end of November 2016.
“We have also seen record prices achieved in Bergvliet during the past two years. In 2015 the number of transactions that breached the R4m mark had increased year-on-year from four to 10 and in 2016 13 of the 47 sales were in the R4m-plus price band.”
Citing Propstats data, Wosk adds that the market surge began to flourish in earnest in 2014 when the average house price jumped to R3.06m from R2.44m in 2013 and properties changed hands for more than R4m for the first time.
Sally Fidler, Co-Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says Bergvliet has also undergone a dramatic transformation during the past three years with the influx of younger buyers changing the resident demographic as well as the tone of the suburb.
“Almost half of all recent buyers are aged between 36 and 49 while around 45% of sellers during the past year were 65 or older”.
“Families with school-going children are breathing new life into the area, and as many of these new buyers renovate or modernize their homes, the suburb is also enjoying a general facelift.”
Fidler adds that it’s very much a family suburb and most investors buy property to live in rather than rent out.
“Around 80% of the properties in Bergvliet are freestanding houses on size-able grounds with the most popular properties being family homes with four bedrooms, a pool, an expansive entertainment area and a double garage.”
Situated a stone’s throw from exclusive neighbours like Constantia and Zwaanswyk where plots generally start at R7m, Bergvliet offers excellent value for money which Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, believes to be the main driving force behind Bergvliet’s market strength.
“Bergvliet residents enjoy an upmarket yet relaxed semi-rural atmosphere afforded by the large established gardens and scenic, well-maintained surrounds with access to the same amenities as their more expensive neighbours, but at a fraction of the price”.
“This is especially appealing to Gauteng buyers who are faced with the harsh reality that they are very unlikely to replace their homes upcountry with the proceeds of those properties’ sales.”
Geffen adds that Bergvliet is also attracting considerable interest from buyers who aren’t ready to retire or move into retirement facilities, but want to downsize from larger family homes in the surrounding Constantiaberg.
Another major drawcard is the number of good schools in the area, including Sweet Valley, Westcott, Waldorf, Herzlia Junior, the American International School and a choice of play groups and crèches for younger children.
Wosk says Bergvliet is known as a security-conscious suburb with an effective Community Watch providing 24 hour patrols and emergency services to residents, who are able to safely enjoy the suburb’s parks and recreational facilities.
There is also a wide choice of leisure activities within easy driving distance; from several of the Cape’s best wine farms and numerous popular restaurants to the beaches of False Bay, a number of sports clubs and top-rated golf courses including Steenberg, which is less than 8km away.