Secure lifestyle living in Constantia in high demand with Gauteng buyers

The Constantia residential property market is experiencing critical stock shortages with homes in security estates in the R6 million to R15m price band being most in demand, especially with buyers from upcountry.

Gauteng families are particularly looking for homes on secure estates when they relocate to Cape Town, and many choose to settle in Constantia close to numerous excellent schools, sports facilities and shopping malls. This five bedroom, five bathroom home with three spacious entertainment rooms and a study in Silverhurst Estate is on the market for R25 million.

Joanna Thomas, Select Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says that there has been a notable increase in queries from Gauteng investors in the past three years.

“Upcountry buyers prioritise security when selecting a property and they are predominantly interested in secure lifestyle estates, of which Constantia has a limited offering and quite frankly needs more because there is demand and Constantia is where these buyers want to live.

“Property seekers from Gauteng, especially, will usually only consider freehold properties with good security systems in place that don’t have any obvious vulnerability such as adjacent open land.”

According to Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, the lack of available stock is only one of the reasons that sales to Gauteng investors are not mirroring the spike in interest.

“Typically it takes longer to sell property in Johannesburg than it does in Cape Town as the market is slower and more negotiable, whilst in sought-after suburbs like Constantia; the current stock shortage means that a cash deal very close to asking price is often required to clinch the sale.”

Geffen adds: “Upcountry buyers can also be a little discouraged when they compare the size of the home they are leaving behind to what they are able to buy for the same value in areas like Constantia, because property prices in the Western Cape’s desirable suburbs are certainly higher than those in Gauteng, and the province tends to be pricier overall.”

However, interest from Gauteng buyers continues to rise as investors are increasingly seeking the reliable service delivery that Cape Town enjoys, the perception that the province is much safer and the relaxed “country” lifestyle and outdoor activities which Constantia residents have right in their doorstep.

According to Thomas, this has resulted in the increasing attractiveness of dual living.

“It’s become a popular option as a better home can be bought with consolidated funds and dual living also offers increased security.”

Constantia certainly lends itself to this trend as the majority of erf sizes are generous and homes are spacious. According to a recent FNB Property Leader report, the majority of single title houses in the area offer four to six bedrooms and erven from 1350m² to 2 acres plus, but there are some cluster style complexes at the smaller 300/500 m² erven size.

Recent Propstats reports reflect the rising property prices in Constantia over the last two years as demand has increased whilst availability has diminished.

Geffen says: “In 2013 the average sales price of single title homes in the Constantia area was just under R6m and by the end of the second quarter of 2015 the average prices had increased to almost R8.5m. In sought-after Constantia Upper, the median prices were R8.3 and R11.04m respectively.”

“We are increasingly seeing homes in the R6m to R15m price band realising their listed price is falling just short and, when correctly priced, these properties often sell within three months of hitting the market.”
The growing popularity of suburbs like Constantia is also driven by their proximity to good schools as demand for quality education has resulted in long waiting lists at result-producing schools and many families with young children now determine their choice of schools prior to selecting a residential area.

Says Thomas: “Sales trends are revealing that potential buyers are more inclined to settle where schools are within a short commuting distances from home, and Constantia is not only home to excellent schools like Reddam House, Herzlia and Constantia Waldorf School, it’s also a short drive from well-known schools like Bishops and Rondebosch Boys’ High School.”

“An established infrastructure, access to first class amenities and the myriad activities for outdoor and sports enthusiasts are also draw cards that attract buyers to the region.”

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