South African estate agents report that local and international buyers are snapping up luxury and holiday homes in some of Cape Town's best locations.
High net worth buyers are cherry picking good value on the Atlantic Seaboard such as this 700 square metre Clifton home sold by Seeff Properties for R37.5 million to an Australian-based expat.
Although house price growth will remain subdued for the remainder of 2012, many homebuyers are seeing this as an opportunity to snap up homes in coastal suburbs including Fresnaye and Bantry Bay.
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Seeff Properties notes that the economy may be bad for buyers of luxury homes, but its business as usual, in fact, these buyers are reportedly cherry-picking good value in these areas.
Lance Cohen, Seeff Atlantic Seaboard estate agent, explains that the most recent home sale price achieved in Fresnaye was R42 million and another luxury home was sold for R37.5 million in Clifton.
Cohen says buyers have been local Capetonians, expats, foreign nationals, and buyers from Johannesburg who have bought holiday homes and apartments.
Clifton particularly has seen buyers splashing out amounts from R10 million for upmarket apartments with sea views and all the added comforts these homes come with.
Priced at R39 million, this luxury sea-side home is selling through Seeff Plettenberg Bay.
Cohen says these buyers mostly paid cash for their homes, they are discerning and want good value and a sound investment.
The agency says demand for homes has seen a total of 23 properties priced over R10 million sold during the first quarter of 2012.
Although holiday home buying took a dip during the recession, holiday home buyers are said to be making a comeback in Plettenberg Bay.
Seeff Plettenberg Bay licensee, Kevin Engelsman, says buyers from Johannesburg and Cape Town are actively buying holiday homes and foreigners have jumped onto the bandwagon too.
Some buyers came from areas such as Port Elizabeth, Durban and Kimberley, he says.
Engelsman says the highest price achieved since 2007 was R27 million for a home sold to a Johannesburg buyer.
Homes mostly in demand are priced below R8 million, are located well and have sea views.
Designer homes priced well-above R20 million are attracting interest from buyers seeking only the best that money can buy.
Pam Golding Properties (PGP) says buyers looking for homes priced over R6 million can pick and choose from several bargain offers, including a number of homes located directly on the beachfront in Cape Town’s Western Seaboard.
Occupying over 9 000 square metres and located on the prestigious Belair Drive in Upper Constantia, this home is selling for R18.75 million through Pam Golding Properties.
Locations include the coastal areas from Milnerton up to Melkbosstrand and suburbs such as Tableview, Blouberg, Parklands and Sunningdale.
PGP area manager for the Western Seaboard Ivan Swart says these homes are particularly popular with international buyers who value the magnificent views and seafront lifestyle.
Recent buyers included a German national who is a keen windsurfer and a South African expatriate, both of whom will use their new beachfront apartments as a base for summer holidays at the sea, he says.
In Upper Constantia, Belair Drive is described as the prestigious home street offering all the luxuries that come with such homes.
The garden and entertainment area of a modern two bedroom Zwaanswyk home with large proportions is on the market for R8.9 million through Anne Porter Knight Frank.
PGP is currently selling a modern home occupying over 9 000 square metres of land with views across Constantia Valley and False Bay and all the way to the Stellenbosch mountains for R18.75 million.
Howard Markham, PGP area manager, says the home is 12 years old and was designed by architect Richard White with extensive use of glass to maximise the panoramic views.
If you thought blue chip investments were found at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in larney Sandton, think again, Markham says property in Constantia is always a blue chip investment, and this section in particular is one of the suburb’s most sought-after addresses.
“The convenient central location, ease of access to all amenities, and magnificent surrounds of mountains and vineyards, will ensure this area never loses its high appeal,” he says.
Rawson Properties is selling a double storey three bedroom home set on a 726 square metre plot in Yzerfontein for R2.450 million.
Anne Porter Knight Frank (APKF) says buyers looking for tranquil and rural-type properties should look no further than the Zwaanswyk.
Lanice Steward, managing director of APKF says this area would suit buyers who are equine lovers as most of the properties are large enough to stable horses.
What’s more, the Zwaanswyk area has a low turnover of properties, with only 45 recorded sales since 2003.
The highest price to be achieved is around R10 million and the average price for 2011 was R7.6 million, and there have been no sales there this year, she points out.
Steward says when a property comes up for sale in Zwaanswyk, it will be snapped up quickly because the area is just ideal for buyers looking to move away from the maddening crowd.
APKF is currently selling an ultra modern home which comes with all the furniture and appliances, carefully chosen to create a luxurious, comfortable place in which to live.
The two bedroom home set on a 3 842 square metre erf carries a list price of R8.9 million.
Further afield in the West Coast, Rawson Properties report that the fishing village of Yzerfontein’s holiday homes are back in vogue.
According to Marijanne van Nieuwenhoven, Rawson Properties’ senior agent for the area says to date, 16 properties have been sold and there are signs that a further improvement can be expected.
Nieuwenhoven says the only bad year that the town has experienced was in 2009 – and that was relatively short lived.
“One of the reasons why sales here have remained steady is that Yzerfontein is especially attractive in winter.”
Although it is officially a summer holiday destination, it also fulfills a wonderful role as a winter getaway place.
It is also crime free – this is one town where people can walk the streets at night without fear, she says.
She points out that Yzerfontein has only about 2 000 houses and the built area has large green commons and open view lines.
Holiday homes and vacant plots such as this R1.575 million seaside plot that overlooks the lagoon is selling on the West Coast again, according to Seeff Properties.
Yzerfontein offers a wide variety of residential property priced from R350k for vacant land, flats with sea views for R1.250 million, townhouses priced at around R1.1 million (especially those in Eden Villa) and freehold homes are priced between R1.2 million and R7 million.
Nieuwenhoven says a high percentage of buyers are still paying cash for their homes and those who apply for home loans are granted finance to buy.
Seeff West Coast licensee, Pierre Germishuys notes that there has been renewed interest in holiday home buying.
According to the latest provincial economic indicators, the region is one of the fastest growing geographic areas and the second largest contributor to the provincial GGP (gross geographic product), after the City of Cape Town itself, he says.
The agency says the enviable coastal lifestyle and relative affordability along with the growth of the area is the main draw card for buyers and investors.
In Saldanha for example, Seeff says demand and sales for homes this year have been homes priced below R1.375 million with some homes sold for less than R400k while plots cost between R215k and R550k.
A three bedroom family home and retirement cottages are priced from R650k, holiday homes range from R1.09 million to R1.8 million for a seaside plot measuring 1 300 square metres.
Seeff says holiday homeowners and buy-to-let investors would be interested to know that there is a high demand for pet friendly properties in Langebaan and the other coastal villages.
Tenants are eyeing two to three bedroom rental properties priced between R3 000 and R6 000 per month.
Holiday homes in Langebaan are priced between R795k to R1.1 million for apartments and cottages, according to Seeff. – Denise Mhlanga