11 Dec 2012
This year has seen a strong shift in the buying patterns in the inner city with more trendsetting, younger buyers migrating to the lifestyle nodes.
This is according to Seeff City Bowl managing director, Ian Slot, who says about five years ago, more than 80 percent of apartment sales in the CBD were to investors, but the pendulum has now swung and the majority of sales this year have been for own-use.
There is more interest in the CBD, especially for trendy, affordable living spaces say agents, Taryn Lewis and Warren Emett.
During 2011, some 100 apartments were sold to the total value of just over R122 million. This year, 97 units have already sold to the value of over R130 million. Most notably, only six of the sales have been above the R2 million price band as most buyers are now looking to pick up good value, they say.
“Many investors who bought at the height of the market are looking to offload their apartments and consequently buyers have been able to pick up exceptional value.”
There is certainly more energy in the city and in the property market this year, not only in the CBD, but also in the East City Precinct around Harrington Street, say Lewis and Emett.
Trendy new stores, restaurants and cafes and nightlife hot-spots are opening up. They say brands such as Missibaba, luxury leather and accessories label and Kirsten Goss, a Durban-based jewellery designer have set up shop in the city and there is rumour that Paul Smith and other big-name brands could be heading to the inner city.
The city is seen as safe, convenient, affordable and a vibrant environment in which to live, work and play. Singles, young professionals, DINKs (Dual Income No Kids), Europeans and even older couples are drawn to the cosmopolitan lifestyle and advantages of living in the area.
Reduced maintenance costs, the convenience of having facilities and amenities on your doorstep and the easy commute to beaches and other attractions in and around the city are just some of what is drawing own-use buyers, they say.
“The city offers quality real estate, many with mod-cons such as a gym, swimming pool, shops and cafes either in the building or close by.”
Whether historic, Art Deco or modern conversions, the living spaces are often trendier than what buyers would get out in the suburbs where they would also generally have to travel to hot-spot hangouts.
With Table Mountain as the backdrop and facing the harbour and ocean, it is an inspiring urban landscape, not what you would normally associate with a ‘concrete jungle’, add the agents. Many apartments also have lovely views; all of which combine to make inner city living in Cape Town attractive and sought after.
Three of their recent sales illustrate this, they say. Two were studio apartments in the heart of the city in The Square on Buitenkant Street and Fountain Suites. The first buyer works in the city and wanted to be close to his workplace, but required a secure home with a parking bay.
The building also offers a gym and swimming pool and the 34 square metre unit sold for R440 000. The second, also a young buyer, wanted a secure apartment in a block with amenities such as a gym and swimming pool.
Fountain Suites delivers on all of these requirements and is also close to the station and MyCiti bus route. The 43 square metre unit includes a secure parking bay and was sold for R775 000.
The third, a 161 square metre, two bedroom unit with a large, double volume open-plan living area and a balcony in the Art Deco-style Mutual Heights was snapped up for R1.83 million by a young candidate attorney.
While, to a lesser extent, there is also still investor buying in the CBD, say the agents. A Johannesburg buyer recently bought a 65 square metre, one bedroom unit with parking at Quayside for R950 000, specifically for its close proximity to the V&A Waterfront and Cape Quarter. He intends using the apartment when in Cape Town and renting it out when not needed.
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