Constantia's out-of-town feel

15 Jul 2013

Predominantly made up of farmland and vineyards, the affluent suburb of Constantia is one of the oldest areas in Cape Town

This home offers three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an entertainment area with a built-in bar and a flatlet. It is on the market for R3.65 million - click here to view.

Although just 20 minutes away from the Cape Town CBD, it has still maintained its out-of-town, rural feel. The area is peppered with green belts and country lanes, with the sight of a horse a regular occurrence. The area is within close proximity to Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and the beaches of False Bay are only a short drive away.

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says recent buying activity in Constantia has been dominated by consumers aged between 36 and 49 years, with this demographic accounting for around 83.33 percent of all buyers in the area. 

He notes that the remaining 16.67 percent is made up of buyers aged between 50 and 64 years and the figures reveal the exact opposite when it comes to the recent sellers in the area, with the older group accounting for 75 percent of recent sellers, while their younger counterparts were responsible for the remaining 25 percent. 

According to Lightstone, property in Constantia consists of 93.17 percent freestanding homes and 6.83 percent estates. 

Goslett says property prices in the area grew steadily from 2004 up until 2008, dipping in 2009. He notes that from 2009, the price of a freestanding home stayed fairly stable, bouncing between R7.9 million and R9.3 million until 2012. However, prices have recently seen remarkable growth with the current average price of a freestanding home at a record high of R15.028 million.   

Data from Lightstone reveals that between 2004 and 2006, around 21 properties were sold in Constantia each year, however, in 2007 this dropped to 14. Goslett says the sales figures increased to 16 in 2008, only to drop to eight in 2009. 

“In 2010, sales transactions jumped back up to 16, but have been progressively declining each year since, with only eight properties sold last year. This could point to the fact that the high-end property market is still feeling some of the effects of the recession.” 

Goslett says all of the homes in the area which sold between June 2012 and May 2013 were priced over the R3 million mark. 

Constantia is home to the Groot Constantia estate, which was established in 1684 by Simon van der Stel, Dutch Colonial Governor of Cape Town, and the area is also one of the greenest, leafiest parts of Cape Town. 

Other notable wine estates in the area include Steenberg, established in 1682 making it the oldest wine estate, Buitenverwachting, Klein Constantia and Constantia Uitsig. Before the turn of the twentieth century, the area was renowned for its exports of Vin De Constance dessert wine, however, trade ceased after the vines were attacked by a parasite. 

During the time of Van der Stel, around 220 slaves worked over a 150 year period in the vineyards and fruit farms. After emancipation many of the slaves moved away from the farms where they worked, but stayed in the area. 

Constantia remained a rural area from the middle of the 1800s up until 1960, with a large majority of its residents consisting of African and coloured decent. However, in 1961 the area was zoned as a white group area and other ethnic groups were forcibly removed. In 2009, Cape Town’s mayor, Dan Plato, unveiled a plaque in remembrance of these residents. 

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