V&A Waterfront properties achieve record prices in 2014

Property in the front yacht basin in the V&A Waterfront is the second most expensive real estate in South Africa.

The V&A Waterfront’s front yacht basin boasts the second most expensive property a square metre in South Africa – second only to Clifton – with record prices in the precinct last year reaching close to R100 000/m².

Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says much of the property bought on the front yacht basin is for investment purposes rather than permanent residence.

The luxurious apartment blocks and penthouses with their tight security that make up the front yacht basin are sandwiched between the deluxe One&Only and Cape Grace hotels, and are just a short walk away from the waterfront shopping, entertainment and dining amenities.

The Waterfront precinct is the most visited attraction in Africa – drawing more footfall than the Pyramids of Giza – with some 24 million visitors last year alone, according to official V&A Waterfront figures.

“The V&A Waterfront added R198 billion to South Africa’s GDP from 2002 to 2012),” says V&A chief executive David Green.

He says that over the same period, proximity to the Waterfront also added 23 percent to the price of residential properties that fall within a 1.5km radius of this prime location.

Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty V&A Waterfront agent Emelia van der Linde says that properties on the front yacht basin tend to average between R80 000/m2 and R85 000/m², and canal properties average between R55 000/m² and R65 000/m².

“The front yacht basin may be the most desirable location in the Waterfront, but the canal properties present exceptional value for money and buyers have found them to be strategic investments,” says van der Linde.

According to 48 apartments were sold in the combined canal and front yacht basin are in 2014, for a total of over R512 million.

Propstats figures show that 13 front yacht basin apartments changed hands to the value of more than R280m, at an average sale price of R21 569 231.

Geffen says some of the biggest money on the Atlantic Seaboard is undoubtedly being spent on property in the Waterfront.

“Wealthy Gauteng residents are buying more holiday homes in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, generally on the canals, and some are even choosing to live there permanently and commute for business.”

Says van der Linde: “During 2007 the average price for an apartment on the canal was R5.84m at R40 300/m2. Buying residential property here is clearly a watertight investment that outstrips inflation.”

The highest price paid for a single residence in the Waterfront in 2014 was a penthouse on the front yacht basin sold by Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty that changed hands for R38.5m at R78 411/m2.

Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Atlantic seaboard chief executive, Brendan Miller, says the front yacht basin is extremely attractive to foreign buyers for location and value.

“It’s a secure lock-up-and-go location and the surrounding amenities are world class, which is what international travellers want when they stay in Cape Town. When not in use by the owners, many of these apartments are also made available for short term lets, which brings in substantial income for owners because these apartments attract high rentals and tend to be busy for most of the year.”

Geffen says: “In 2013 properties on the Waterfront yacht basin were selling for around R70 000/m2 we considered those prices to be high. But in 2014 two were sold for more than R90 000/m² and a few more for over R80 000/m². In the Waterfront a one-bedroom flat can cost more than R6m.

“Property in the V&A Waterfront precinct will never drop in value because there is limited residential development space. The scarcity of residential property there is not going to change because of development space limitations, so there’s always going to be greater demand than supply,” says Geffen.

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