Real estate located near water generally comes at a premium – sometimes 50% higher than the property located further away.
Waterfront areas are often the first to reflect the effects of an economic downturn, but according to Ross Levin, licensee for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl, Cape Town’s waterfront property is seeing a resurgence with buyers and investors.
“While the pandemic has driven demand for more outdoor space and green areas, it has also boosted demand for waterfront apartments as people look for a better lifestyle” he says. “This is well reflected in the sales activity at the V&A Marina, the premier waterfront estate in South Africa, which is at its best level in three years with sales for the first half of 2021 of over R230 million at an average selling price of R12.8 million”.
Seeff’s Waterfront team – Kim Bailey and Finella Botes – have concluded some 63% of all sales during the first half of this year, including a R45 million sale, the highest price achieved since 2014. It was purchased by a foreign investor as a holiday home.
For the first time in years, demand for waterfront apartments is outweighing supply. Investors are becoming aware of the shortage of stock, and they are expediting offers as a result according to the agents.
Apartment sales at the Foreshore have also been brisk, amounting to R25.4 million at an average selling price of just over R2.8 million during the first half of 2021. There is a huge demand for well-priced apartments, particularly in Harbour Bridge and Canal Quays as investors look to capitalise on the buy-to-let and short-term rental markets.
Mouille Point is another waterfront area which is enjoying high demand with sales by mid-year of R101 million at an average selling price of R5.95 million.
Front sea-facing apartments are the most popular, according to Seeff, but the agents caution that there is no appetite for overpriced properties. Waterfront property at the V&A Waterfront, Mouille Point, and the Foreshore, have continued to grow in value over the last few years. Current stock levels are not supporting the demand and buyers should take care not to wait until the market shifts in favour of sellers.
Century City is also witnessing activity with Seeff clinching record prices of up to R9.35 million for a home in Waterstone Isles, says Helga Clemo, licensee for Seeff Century City. Both the sales and rental markets are very active.
While apartments below R2 million are selling fast, buyer appetite has increased for high-end properties, specifically the freestanding homes in the estate. Clemo says that many buyers are looking to upscale to a larger property with work-from-home space and a private garden for their children.
Rental accommodation in the area is also in high demand driven by the excellent lifestyle with green parks, walking, cycling, water canals and the Canal Walk shopping and restaurant precinct, basically within walking distance of everything.
There is also still investor interest in Century City, with buyers wanting to rent out their properties and it is a great time for them to buy as prices are lower than last year.
The Tyger Waterfront in Bellville is another popular waterfront area according to Anéne Botha, an agent with Seeff Durbanville. It offers great value for money below R2 million and benefits from the low interest rate boost that the market is currently experiencing.
“The area has shown tremendous growth in the past five years and is an excellent investment for any investor’s portfolio given the high demand for rentals”, she says.
The estate is central to all amenities including Tyger Valley and Willowbridge and it is in demand with professionals and investors. Large office parks and head offices such as Santam and Metropolitan ensures a large pool of tenants who would like to rent here and walk to work.
For those in the medical profession, the Tygerberg Campus and Hospital, Melomed, Karl Bremmer and Intercare are just a few minutes’ drive away. The area is also popular with medical students. Keeping fit is easy as the area is convenient with easy access to Virgin Active, Zone Fitness gyms and the Tyger Valley Canoe club.