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Family houses in the southern suburbs are still selling well despite the depressed market

In the present subdued market, well-priced family homes are still in demand and selling like “hot cakes” in the school catchment areas of the southern suburbs, says James Lewis, MD for Seeff southern suburbs.

Areas such as Claremont/Lynfrae, Rondebosch and Newlands are popular as buyers look to move closer to schools and good amenities, and cut down on travelling time.

It is not necessarily a lack of buyer interest, but often overpricing that holds back sales, says Belinda Keys of Seeff Claremont and Lynfrae. Claremont and Lynfrae enjoy easy access to top schools such as Bishops Prep and College, Rondebosch Prep and High, Rustenburg and Golden Grove.

She says the market remains busy, with about 40 houses on the market. Around 10 have been on the market for about eight months because of incorrect pricing.

This market is all about pricing. Most of the listings are in the sought-after R3-4 million range. Aside from first-time buyers, the area attracts young couples starting families and those with small children.

Houses under R3m tend to be small with little or no parking and mainly appeal to singles, professionals, young couples with no kids or for scaling down. Most buyers want three-bedroom/two-bathroom houses with double garages and a garden priced below R5m.

Above that, the homes generally have bigger erfs, but stock is limited as families stay for a long time. While many buyers want a bargain to renovate, there are plenty of newly renovated homes which sell as fast.

Lynfrae tends to be the most popular, although the entry-level price is a little higher at R4m-plus, but stock levels tend to be tight. Also popular is the area below Belvedere Road where you can find a decent family house for R3-R4m. Keys says if priced correctly, homes should sell within one to two months. 

Properties should be well presented, neat and tidy, with all maintenance issues sorted, and be aesthetically pleasing, even if unrenovated. Buyers need to be impressed the minute they walk through the front door.

With no less than 18 schools in the area including popular options such as Oakhust Girls, Rondebosch Boys High, Bishops, Micklefield and Rustenburg, Rondebosch is also a popular family choice.

Charmaine Scott-Wilson, Seeff’s specialist for freehold property in the area, says sellers should note that in the current climate, buyers are looking for value and are well informed about the market and prices. The most popular price range is R5-R7m and properties need to be well presented and have street appeal.

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