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Century City sellers sitting in the pound seats

06 Jun 2016

When it comes to city property, Century City in Cape Town is just about "as hot as it gets".

This luxury one bedroom, one bathroom apartment is situated high up in Knightsbridge with uninterrupted views of Table Mountain and over the canal. The complex offers access to an indoor heated lap pool, jacuzzi, sauna and a fully-equipped gym. It is on sale for R1.695 million - click here to view.

This is according to Helga Clemo, Seeff’s licensee for the area, who says high demand and depleting stock levels has seen prices of residential property in the suburb spike by some 50%-plus in under three years.

The suburb that stands as an oasis in the city with stunning views of Table Mountain and over the city out to sea, ranks as one of the most sought after for its location and centrality.

“You have direct access to the N1 and are just 15 minutes from the CBD and Southern Suburbs,” says Clemo.

What is the appeal?

“It is also a very aesthetically appealing suburb with modern developments, palm-tree lined cobbled streets and water canals, and is just about the ideal live, work and play neighbourhood that you could ask for.”

Aside from many businesses that operate in the area or have their head offices there, Clemo says there are a number of hotels, including the five-star Crystal Towers Hotel and Spa, along with restaurants and coffee shops and the Canal Walk mega mall.

Although still growing, Century City is now home to a good mix of sectional title complexes and freehold property located in estates.

“It is no surprise then, that whatever new development pops up sells out quickly,” says Clemo.

What will you pay for a Century City property?

This two bedroom, one bathroom apartment for sale in Century City is situated in the Manhattan. Its lounge leads out onto a balcony with views of Table Mountain. It is selling for R2.2 million - click here to view.

“Where many surrounding suburbs are reporting a slowdown in activity, we are still seeing an active market with a shortage of stock and prices consequently continuing to rise,” says Clemo.

She says sellers are not just achieving good prices, but often even more than what they anticipated, such is the demand.

According to Lightstone data, she says the median selling price for a sectional unit in 2013 was R1.35 million. By 2015, this had increased to R1.72 million, thus climbing by some 27% in just two years.

Clemo says a standard two bedroom apartment that would have sold for R1.2 million in 2013 is, for example, now selling for R1.9 million - some 58% more in under three years.

“This year, we are seeing apartments achieving on average R1.5 million for a one bedroom unit, as much as R2 million for two bedrooms and R2.8 million for three bedrooms,” she says.

“Prices do vary greatly, though, depending on the complex, and those overlooking the canals, for example, tend to fetch the highest prices.”

The annual sales volumes tend to be influenced by new developments, says Clemo.

This one bedroom, one bathroom apartment in Little Moorings is tiled throughout and has Venetian blinds. It includes a basement parking and is on the market for R1.5 million - click here to view.

“The number of complex sales fluctuates as there have been many new sectional scheme developments completed recently, and still more to come,” she says.

“With the exception of five townhouses within the new Ashton Park development, there have been no new freehold properties built in Century City.”

Who is buying in Century City?

Clemo says the majority of buyers tend to be in the 36-year-plus age bracket, and the area is popular with older buyers.

Century City is a high-earning income area with relatively high living costs compared to the neighbouring suburbs, and therefore attracts buyers who are top earners.

The suburb also caters for retirees with the Oasis Luxury Resort that offers units priced in the R2.5 million to R8 million price range, thus pitched at top-end retirement buyers, she says.

Clemo says the Century City market still favours sellers, and based on their recent sales, sellers are achieving on average within about 98% of their asking price.

This two bedroom, two bathroom apartment is situated in The Island Yacht Club has a balcony and has access to a communal gym, indoor lap pool and outdoor pool. It is selling for R3.395 million - click here to view.

She says buyers are astute, though, and are not willing to overpay, so accurate pricing remains paramount for serious sellers.

What lies ahead for Century City?

Clemo says Rabie has satisfied the immense demand for property in Century City. Ashton Park was completed in 2015, offering an additional 140 apartments.

Current developments include The Mayfair, The Matrix, Manhattan Quarter and the upcoming Waters Edge, offering another 394 apartments.

“With so much still happening here, the excellent price growth and continued high demand for the lifestyle, you are assured that whether you are buying, selling or renting, Century City is the place to be,” she says.

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