Hout Bay Property Market remains buoyant

Hout Bay is one of the most consistently active property markets in Cape Town, with an average of nearly one property sale every day for the three years between 2012 and 2014.

That’s according to Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, who citing data from Lightstone says Hout Bay saw an impressive total of 733 houses to the total value of R2.225 billion and 300 apartments to the value of R473 million change hands between 2012 and 2014.

“And the first quarter of 2015 certainly hasn’t been bad either, despite less stock available than in the previous three years. So far for the quarter 60 house sales have been registered, but that figure will increase as the paperwork on more transactions is concluded,” says Geffen.

Lieveke Koelma, property consultant for Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty in Hout Bay, says that the high sales volume can be attributed to several key factors: “Unlike many other suburbs on this stretch of the Atlantic coastline, Hout Bay offers a wide range of property options, from start-up apartments to housing estates and equestrian estates, as well as very accessible entry level prices. Houses start at around R2.5m and apartments at around R700 000.”

Estates are a key attraction, because there is no development room for them in suburbs on the Atlantic Seaboard.

According to Lightstone, the most popular areas for house purchases between 2012 and 2014 were Beach Estate at 103 sales to the value of R224m, Northshore at 101 sales to the value of R230m, Scott Estate at 80 sales to the value of R290m and Penzance Estate at 51 sales to the value of R90m.

“Currently the lower to middle-segments of market are definitely the most active,” says Koelma, “with houses in the R2.5m to R5m price bracket showing the most sales for 2014.”

Not far behind was the mid-level market, with 30 transactions recorded in 2014 to the value of R198m with an average value of R6.6m. Suburbs that proved most popular within this price bracket where Berg-en-Dal, Bokkemanskloof, Helgarda Estate, Kenrock, Kronenzicht, Longkloof and Tarragona.

Although houses have always made up the bulk of the market in this picturesque seaside suburb that still boasts an active fishing harbour, the demand for apartments - especially along the beachfront - has grown in recent years as first time buyers and investors are increasingly attracted to the area.

Koelma says: “Although stock is low, apartments do come on the market and most popular with buyers in 2014 were Princess Beach, The Breakers, Sea Glade, Indibay, Riverview and Panorama Hills with sale prices ranging between R640 000 and R2.25m.”

“Also in high demand at the moment are equestrian estates, because a lot of land in the southern suburbs that used to be available for stabling is being subdivided and people are looking to buy land where they can keep their horses.”

She adds that properties which are accurately priced and well situated are snapped up, sometimes within a matter of days of being listed.

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says that one of the main reasons the market has remained so buoyant is the return on investment.

“Buyers can expect excellent returns on properties in all price categories, although Propstats figures show that the R5m to R10m price bracket fared best. Measured until the end of the first quarter of 2015 the average nominal return on a house was a healthy 15% per annum over a period of eight years.”

He added that the return on investment for apartments in Hout Bay is equally solid; showing a nominal 12% per annum measured over a period of seven years.

Nestled in the bay at the foot of Table Mountain, Hout Bay has traditionally been perceived as more of a sleepy fishing village than a suburb but, whilst it retains its charm, it also boasts a host of amenities which contribute to the increased interest of first time home-buyers, especially young couples, who are entering the property market.

“Not only does Hout Bay offer a laid back seaside village lifestyle, it also has excellent schools as well as a wide range of convenient amenities; from supermarkets and eclectic shops to restaurants and banks,” says Koelma.

She adds that another crucial factor is the quick and easy commute to the city.

“Not only does the coastal road offer a short drive to town with relatively little peak hour traffic, but the introduction of the MyCiti bus service has been a huge success and has eased the commute even further.”

However, Koelma says that one of the biggest appeal-factors of Hout Bay remains the sense of community and the feeling that one is living in a village rather than in a large city.

“In Hout Bay people still greet each other in the shops and you regularly bump into your neighbours in the local pubs and restaurants,” she says.

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