Lynfrae no longer the poor Claremont relation

The often overlooked suburb of Lynfrae in Cape Town is no longer being snubbed for being situated “below the railway line”, and the growing demand is pushing up prices as investors become increasingly aware of the exceptional property value and young families seek to gain a foot on the residential ladder in Cape Town’s sought-after Southern Suburbs.

This spacious three bedroom family home in Lynfrae, Cape Town, offers open plan flow to a covered patio with heated pool. With an outside en suite room for possible dual living passive income, excellent security, large double automated garage and original working fireplace, it is on the market for R5.95 million.

Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Area Specialist in Lynfrae, Jill Lloyd, who has sold six houses in Lynfrae in just over three months, says that there has been a noticeable spike in interest in the area, with stock becoming limited.

Citing Lightstone data, Lloyd says that property values have increased correspondingly, with a further acceleration in growth anticipated as stock diminishes.

“Average sale prices increased by R1.1 million in Lynfrae in just five years. In 2010, the average house price was R2.41m and by the end of 2015 the median price had increased to R3.42m, which corresponds to a year-on-year compound return on investment of just over 8% over that period.”

Nestled between the sought-after suburbs of Rondebosch and Newlands where the average house prices in 2015 were R4.55m and R6.01m respectively, Lynfrae still offers excellent value for money in a high value zone where average house prices in directly adjacent suburbs are considerably more.

The current average price of property in Lynfrae, which falls within Greater Claremont, is also R1m less than the median sale price for Claremont as a whole.

Lloyd says: “Property is more affordable in Lynfrae than its immediate neighbours but residents enjoy all the same conveniences, which has made the area very attractive to families seeking a safe suburban environment that is in close proximity to excellent schools and top class amenities.”

She adds that a correctly priced, well-maintained home with a sizeable garden will be quickly snapped up, regardless of whether the house has been renovated. Even houses with 30-year-old fixtures in kitchens and bathrooms are sold within days if they are correctly valued and priced.

“We recently sold a very solid older home with two reception rooms, two bedrooms and two bathrooms for R3.195m and there was quite literally a feeding frenzy.”

Lloyd says they are also experiencing a spike at the upper end of the market, with prices in that segment now reaching record highs.

“The highest price ever achieved in Lynfrae was R6m, which was for a spacious three-bedroom home with a flat that we sold in St Andrew’s Road in November. This sets a new bar for the suburb and clearly demonstrates its growing desirability.”

Unlike its neighbours where sectional title properties have increased substantially over the past decade, most of the properties in Lynfrae are still freehold and many of these are older properties with gardens. Some 45% of residents have owned their properties for 11 years or more, 15% for between eight and 11 years, 13% for between five and seven years, and 27% for less than five years.

“The largest group, nearly 50%, have owned their properties for more than a decade, which tells you that it is an established, neighbourly suburb where people have raised families and continued to live afterwards. That sense of community is very important to young families raising children in a city, and it’s one of the reasons Lynfrae is increasingly popular,” says Lloyd.

According to Lightstone, people aged between 50 and 64 comprise the largest percentage of residents (36%), but that is closely followed by a growing percentage of those in the family-raising age group of 36 to 49 (32%). Although diminishing, there is still also a sizable population of pensioners, most of whom have lived in the area for many years. 

“It’s a good mix,” says Lloyd. “During the day the older residents are out and about, ensuring that there is life and more safety than in suburbs which are dominated by working age families where streets are often deserted for much of the daylight hours. This is also a lot safer for children who might be alone at home after school while their parents are at work.”

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says that the surge in sales in the area has also impacted on the rental market, which is very strong.

“With the demand for rental homes now far surpassing the supply, we are seeing an increasing number of investors buying properties to rent out.”

He adds that this growing demand has also led to the emergent trend of sectional title developments in this once almost exclusively freehold suburb. 

Lloyd also attributes Lynfrae’s growing popularity to several other appealing drawcards. 

“Residents love the proximity to excellent schools and the popular Keurboom Park, as well as being able to walk to the Western Province Cricket Club and Newlands Stadium.” 

Lynfrae is very well served by the Claremont CBD and is within easy reach of Rondebosch Boys’ Junior and Senior Schools, Rustenburg Girls’ Junior and Senior Schools, Oakhurst Girls’ School, Bishops Boys’ School and SACS Boy’s Junior and Senior Schools. 

According to Arnold Maritz, Co-Principal of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Southern Suburbs, last year Claremont as a whole experienced its best year of residential sales since 2010.

“In 2015, a total of 254 properties changed hands to the combined value of R875m. Of these, 162 were houses which sold to the value of almost R720m at an average price of R4.44m and 92 were apartments at a median sale price of R1. 67m.

“In terms of Rand value and units sold in the Southern Suburbs during 2015, this is second only to Constantia, where 171 houses sold to the value of R1.396 billion,” says Maritz.

In Greater Claremont house prices increased at a compound rate of 12% per annum over a five-year period, from R2.75m in 2010 to R4.44m in 2015.

Maritz says sectional title properties in the area also performed well, showing a compound growth rate of 10% per annum over a five-year period, from around R1.1m to roughly R1.67m in 2015.

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