R1.5bn sales of R20m-plus trophy homes in Cape Town

Sales of trophy homes priced at R20 million and more for the last year have doubled year-on-year since 2013 and are now at the highest levels in five years according to Seeff chairman, Samuel Seeff.

This 1 400m² Fresnaye home was recently sold for just under R65 million.

Cape Town tops the list with about 51 recorded sales amounting to just over R1.5 billion, double the R762m (26 sales) recorded for 2013.

The Atlantic seaboard alone accounts for R1.1bn of the sales with sales in Clifton of up to R70m, R42.5m in Bantry Bay, just under R65m in Fresnaye, just over R40m in Llandudno and seven luxury apartments sold at the Waterfront Marina at R20m-plus each. The southern suburbs of Bishopscourt and Constantia too have seen about 10 sales at R20m-plus each.

Further afield, sales in other luxury locations, from Sandton and Pretoria East to Garden Route towns such as Plettenberg Bay and Ballito on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast amount to a further R500m-plus, taking the value of trophy homes sold nationally to just over R2bn, says Seeff.

In Cape Town alone Seeff sold 17 of these trophy properties worth almost R600m, including a sale for R70m for vacant land in Clifton and R42.5m for an apartment in Bantry Bay. The agency also concluded sales in Sandton of up to R30m and just under R31m in Ballito.

In a busy summer Seeff sold a Bantry Bay property at R31m, a R30m in Fresnaye and luxury apartments at the V&A Waterfront for R31m and R32m.

Seeff says that almost all of the sales for the market as a whole have been cash transactions. About 85 percent were to South African buyers who have also paid the highest prices in the country this year. Only eight of these properties in Cape Town were sold to foreign-based buyers, mostly British.

Atlantic seaboard agent, Lance Cohen, says there has been a notable uptick in buyer interest in luxury homes over the last year.

“Considering the value of the rand against the dollar, pound sterling and euro, luxury buyers are finding excellent value and, with some exciting new stock coming onto the market recently, he believes the buoyancy will continue this year.

“That the area has weathered the economic downturn rather well and homes are increasingly selling for upwards of R30m to R100m is testimony to the confidence in property here, including vacant land. South African expatriates are also investing in property. A Johannesburg buyer for example recently paid R31m for land in Bantry Bay and a South African couple living in Mauritius paid R30m for a luxury home in Fresnaye.”

Agents Ross Levin and Kim Bailey have sold five of the seven top end R20m-plus luxury apartments at the V&A Waterfront Marina over the last year, including the two most recent sales at R31m in Juliette and R32m a joint sale at Parama.

They say that most of the sales have been to local residential buyers.

“Only two of the top sales at the Waterfront were to foreigners – an apartment in Palgrave that was sold to a UK buyer for just under R24m and a unit in Parama that was sold to an Australian buyer for R32m.”

Where only two luxury home sales were recorded across the southern suburbs in 2013, both in Bishopscourt, about 10 homes in this price range were sold during the last year in Bishopscourt and Constantia. Most were to local residential buyers although two luxury homes were sold to UK buyers.

Agent Ingrid McFarlane, who sold four homes at over R20m, believes that the buoyancy will continue throughout this year, citing the good value on offer as being the main driver of sales.

“Activity in the housing market has on the whole defied the economic trend over the last year. Coming off one of the best December sales periods, especially in Cape Town where sales doubled year-on-year, we believe this will be another good year for the luxury homes,” market. says Seeff.

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