Sea Point’s renaissance sees all-time high demand for sectional title residential accommodation

The demand for apartment beachfront living in the revitalised Sea Point area on the Cape’s Atlantic Seaboard is now at an all-time high, says Basil Moraitis, area manager for Pam Golding Properties.

View of the Sea Point Promenade.

“In fact,” he says, “the current demand and uptake is so acute that the number of beachfront apartments listed for sale is at the lowest levels we’ve seen for the past two years. At the moment, we have just three apartments for sale in beachfront blocks.”

With unobstructed views of the ocean, residents enjoy a holiday-type ambience and lifestyle while remaining close to places of work and all the modern conveniences and amenities in the nearby central city as well as in the bustling Main Road area. Residential property incorporates bachelor flats and larger apartments to luxury penthouses in a variety of styles ranging from compact and modest to spacious and sophisticated.

“Rubbing shoulders with nearby Mouille Point, Fresnaye, Camps Bay and Clifton, it is clear that Sea Point is rapidly becoming a world-class destination of its own, rivalling similar seaside residential communities such as those found in Miami’s Bal Harbour and South Beach districts. With its proximity to central Cape Town, Green Point Urban Park and the V&A Waterfront, its expansive open recreational spaces and meandering walkway – often host to displays of thought-provoking artworks, Sea Point is a draw card for tourists to visit and for local residents to stroll or jog in the early morning or evenings, enjoying the scenic views and spectacular sunsets,” says Moraitis.

Located in a highly sought after block close to the beachfront and shops in Sea Point, this spacious, two bedroom, 2.5 bathroom duplex apartment with large lounge and dining room, and tandem garage, is marketed at R3.55 million through Pam Golding Properties. The complex includes a communal swimming pool and 24 hour security.

A further fillip for the area is that Cape Town City Council has embarked on a massive project to upgrade the Sea Point Promenade, with an investment of some R16.9 million being spent on its rehabilitation, including repaving of the walkway, resurfacing of the parking area near the popular Sea Point swimming pool and parts of the sidewalk along Beach Road and construction of a new playground. The project also includes rehabilitation of the sea wall and construction of a low seating wall, with the entire promenade to be upgraded over a number of years and the work carried out in stages to avoid disruption.

Contributing to Sea Point’s regeneration are new developments and redevelopments both commercial and residential in nature, a further indication of the surge in confidence in the area. Says Moraitis: “The Bantry Bay end of Regent Road is currently experiencing the most significant and overwhelming transformation into an elite urban ‘high street’ shopping destination with luxury shopping centres and residential developments such as the Point Shopping Centre, Piazza De Luz, The Firmont luxury apartment development - sold out prior to official marketing and well under construction and the soon to be launched Tramway development site.

“While there is no doubt that the beachfront is and has for many years been a highly desirable place to live, more recently the stretch between Beach Road and Main / Regent Roads has experienced a considerable revival as a result of all the new development and the shortage of stock on the Beachfront, with record prices being achieved in blocks set further back. Pam Golding Properties recently sold a 236sqm apartment in Courcheval for R7.6 million, a price previously reserved for beachfront blocks. Only the stretch along Main Road in Three Anchor Bay needs to catch up, but with rumours abounding of a proposed redevelopment of the Adelphi Centre, it is only a matter of time.”

A three-four bedroom (one en suite), two bathroom apartment in Courcheval in Sea Point has been sold by Pam Golding Properties for R7.6.million. Comprising 236sqm, the apartment is perched high up in a well-established block, conveniently close to the beach and shopping amenities. The unit has grand open living spaces with lounge, separate dining room plus family/TV room and a garage.

Moraitis says given its favourable location and variety of real estate, Sea Point property offers sound returns as a medium to long term investment – a benefit which is set to increase exponentially as Marco Van Embden, who together with his exco team spearheaded the successful Mouille Point residents and ratepayers association, is now vice chairman of the ratepayers association of Sea Point, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay.

“The initiatives introduced in Mouille Point have served not only to clean up the area and make it a safe and secure seaside suburb, they have also contributed to the massive rise in property values in the Mouille Point area. We are confident that the introduction of similar initiatives and measures will not only underpin the exceptional growth experienced in Sea Point over the years, but will further contribute meaningfully to the investment credentials of the area.”

Comments Van Embden, who chaired the Mouille Point residents and ratepayers association for 10 years: “Initiatives introduced and proven highly successful in Mouille Point in our ‘crime and grime’ programme include 24 hour a day, seven days a week security and cleaning. With every ratepayer and business contributing, we introduced vehicle patrols, licence plate recognition, cameras, a control centre, an ‘eyes and ears’ programme and daily cleaning of gutters and pavements, resulting in a well-kept, well-managed and virtually crime-free area.

“We plan to introduce the same in Sea Point, from Three Anchor Bay through to Bantry Bay, in a five-phase programme which we anticipate will take two to three years to roll out in its entirety. The benefits to residents, including businesses in the area, are significant, and at a cost of only R2 per day, ie R60 a month per household. Already we have three-wheeler patrols and have received sponsorship for a co-ordinator for a year. There is no doubt that ultimately these measures will impact positively on property values in the area.”

Moraitis says that Lightstone property statistics reflect that growth in property values in the suburb of Sea Point has increased by 25 percent over the past three years (2012 – 2014), with low stock levels making it not uncommon for competing offers on the same property.

In the sectional title market, during 2014 the largest percentage (33 percent) of buyers in Sea Point were over 65 years of age, followed by the 36-49 year age group (31 percent), then 50-64 years (26 percent) and buyers under the age of 35 (10 percent). Says Moraitis: “Clearly Sea Point’s sectional title market is following the trend set by other seaside destinations – such as Miami - popular among more mature buyers. The number of registrations has also rocketed and was the highest in 2014 for the past seven years - with 144 sectional title sales. This represented an increase of over 15 percent over the previous year (2013) and a 40 percent increase from the lows after the credit crunch of 2008/9.”

He says gaining a foothold in a beachfront apartment block requires a minimum investment of around R2.5 million which will acquire a one bedroom apartment with a mountain elevation. An investment of R5 million to R6 million will secure a two bedroom unit with sea views while three bedroom apartments can list as high as R15 million. Currently Pam Golding Properties has a spacious two bedroom apartment for sale in a well-positioned block close to the beachfront and shops, priced at R3.55 million.

“In 2014 studio apartments elsewhere in Sea Point changed hands at around R600 000 to R700 000, however today you’d be hard-pressed to find a studio unit anywhere in the suburb for under a million rand. There were six sectional title sales priced at R7 million and above in Sea Point in 2014, none of which were directly situated on the beachfront, which can be directly attributed to the enormous shortage of stock which has driven prices up across Sea Point. It is also interesting to note that it is not unusual for Sea Point apartment blocks to achieve a square metre selling rate of between R35 000 and R45 000, which was previously unheard of in the suburb and formerly the preserve of the surrounding suburbs of Bantry Bay and Fresnaye,” says Moraitis.

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