The property environment is still tough, due to issues such as politics, but there is evidence of renewed activity
The economic and socio-political climate is proving a tough challenge for the country’s property market, but rays of sunshine are coming through the clouds. In certain suburbs and regions there are even some green shoots of renewed activity, says Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property Group.
The Atlantic seaboard, western seaboard, George, and Kenilworth Park are a few areas agents are highlighting as “flourishing”, while Re/Max of Southern Africa statistics for 2018 show the areas in and around Table View, Somerset West and Mitchells Plain, followed by suburbs such as Gardens and Claremont, have had the highest number of transactions.
Pam Golding’s Atlantic seaboard office alone concluded sales worth more than R300 million in February, including a number of top-end properties which fetched more that R25m.
Basil Moraitis, the group’s area manager for the city bowl and Atlantic seaboard says: “The market has definitely picked up, with increased movement in correctly priced properties, while international buyers are also more active.”
The market in George has also continued to thrive, despite the storms, says Stephen Lubbe, co- franchisee for the Rawson Property Group in the area. Demand is still “very strong” across both sales and rentals, and accurately priced properties are “moving quickly”.
Kenilworth Park is seeing price stability, respectable returns and quick sales, say Marc Plastow and Mitchell Mckenzie, area specialists for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty. Freehold properties are in great demand and values have appreciated significantly during the past year.
Among flourishing areas which continue to experience brisk growth in prices are the new suburbs along the Cape’s western seaboard, Golding says. The market above R20m in the Western Cape is notably slower, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group, but the region continues to achieve the highest overall process in the country.
While the sub-R1.5m (below R3m in the luxury areas) price band remains fairly active, there has been a notable slow-down in R20m-plus value sales as buyers take time out and wait and watch as things unfold in the country, he says.
“While this top end of the market is down by about 50% from the highs of 2015-2017, Propstats data shows that in Cape Town, just under R1.6billion in super luxury sales were concluded last year, about R1bn of that on the Atlantic seaboard alone.”
While there is still demand for high-end homes in top locations, Seeff says buyers are now negotiating strongly. The upside of this is that there has been a notable rise in new listings, giving buyers an excellent choice of stock. At the same time, sellers are beginning to look at lower offers.
James Lewis, managing director for Seeff South Suburbs and Hout Bay, says listings here have risen notably over the past two years, giving buyers a much broader choice and allowing more room to negotiate.