Bantry Bay sneaks in as market leader in apartment sales on the Atlantic seaboard

Camps Bay and Clifton may hog the limelight on the Atlantic seaboard, but their more sedate neighbour Bantry Bay has quietly been grabbing the lion’s share of this exclusive market with the highest recorded rand value and sales volumes for apartments during 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 by realising an impressive 74 sales worth R394 million.

Comparable runners up are Camps Bay with 47 apartment sales worth R266m, Clifton with 33 sales totalling R310m, Bakoven with 29 sales of R266m and Fresnaye realising 26 sales worth R114m.

Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says that when one measures the percentage return on investment (ROI), it’s easy to see why this sought-after oceanfront suburb has snuck into the lead as a desirable area to live and as a shrewd investment.

“Measured over a period of seven years, Bantry Bay has shown a significant nominal average return on investment with an impressive 17 percent a year, which is a generous return in anyone’s book.”

Geffen says the best performing price band in Bantry Bay was the R2.5m to R5m bracket with a very solid average nominal return of 19 percent a year over five years. Properties in the R5m to R20m bracket also fared very well, rewarding investors with an average nominal return of 13 percent a year over the same period.

Previously a suburb dominated by single title homes which only the wealthy could afford, Bantry Bay has seen extensive development in the last decade, and this has gradually changed the property landscape to include several sectional title properties, which has opened the door to a wider investor demographic.

Says Geffen: “Currently the lower to middle-segments of market are definitely the most active, with 26 sales to a total value of almost R94m in the R2.4m to R5m price band recorded over the last 18 months.

“Also popular with investors are properties priced between R5m and R10m, with 17 sales to the combined value of R119.9m changing hands during the same period.”

The upper end of the market saw two apartments on the ocean side of Victoria Road being sold in the R20m to R30m price band at an average of R21.9m a sale. One was an apartment at The Bantry which was sold for R22.25 million at R78 622/m2 and at Bantry Point an apartment changed hands for R21.5m at R80 410/m2. The highest sale during 2014 in The Bantry was recorded at R45 million with a floor area of 599m2 at R70 952/m2. Another recent sale in Bonne Nouvelle, oceanfront apartment block, sold for R81 395/m2 within the past month. It was listed for R35m with a floor size of 430m².

Says Malka Zinman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty: “Buyers are prepared to pay a premium almost anywhere on the Atlantic seaboard and prices are continuing to soar as there is no more vacant land, especially on the sea side of Victoria Road. New listings are snapped up almost overnight.

“Two adjacent older properties on Victoria Road were recently knocked down to make way for yet another modern apartment development to cater for the growing demand for lock-up-and-go homes.”

Despite its numerous appeal factors and oceanfront charm, Bantry Bay was not immune to the market crash of 2008, when the total rand value of sales in the area dropped from R330m in 2007 to R253m in just a year.

Geffen says: “Every sector of the property market was affected by the economic downturn in 2008. What’s most significant is how well an area has recovered, and Bantry Bay has fared extremely well, peaking in 2014 with a 46 percent growth in sales worth R372m and an 18 percent increase in the number of sales.

“Also notable is the fact that bonded apartment sales have steadily decreased exponentially, with only 12 percent of the sales in the last 18 months being bonded, compared to 22 percent in 2009 and 17 percent in 2010.”

Bantry Bay may not offer the vibrant and bustling atmosphere of the Camps Bay strip or Clifton’s Fourth Beach in summer, but what it does offer is a position with unsurpassed sea and mountain views from almost every property and proximity to a choice of good schools, top-class amenities and the CBD, while still being within three minutes’ walking distance of the beach.

Some of the more sought after apartment blocks in Bantry Bay include Bantry Place, Bantry Rocks, The Bantry, The President, Florentia and 333 on Saunders on the oceanfront, and above Victoria Road Aquarius, Arcadia and Toscana, among others, are also popular with investors.

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