Cape property still in short supply, but note what and where

For Cape sellers it is still an opportune time to sell, especially if you are in the right area and price band according to Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff property group.

SELLING LIKE HOTCAKES: This spacious Newlands family home with a swimming pool was recently sold for R5.6 million.

“The demand for property across the metro – from entry level apartments to luxury homes on the Atlantic seaboard – continues its strong showing and with most of the old stock now gone, new listings are selling, and fast,” Seeff says.

“New listings are still by and large coming onto the market at a trickling pace and most of our branches, not just in the main metropolitan suburbs, but as far as Somerset West and Stellenbosch, continue citing a shortage of good sellable stock. Propstats data for key Cape locations also bear out the still favourable selling conditions.”

Overall sales for the metro from January to the end of April, amount to R6.136 billion, or R1.5bn in sales turnover a month. That is still about 25 percent up on the value traded in 2013 and 35 percent higher than 2010.

Properties are also still selling almost twice as fast as what the case was five years ago, says Seeff. The overall average difference between the listing and selling prices for the metro is still only about 6.4 percent. Notably, up to a third of transactions for this year have been for just about or at the full listing price.

While the overall time on the market for the metro is 74 days (about 10 weeks), in reality almost half of properties are still sold within a day to a month of being listed.

If you are a seller in a strong demand area and your property is not selling, then, says Seeff, you need to rethink the appointment of your agent or the price.

James Lewis, principal for Seeff southern suburbs, Hout Bay and Llandudno, says that sectional title apartments close to tertiary institutions, especially in Rondebosch, are in such short supply that a single new listing can attract up to 40 responses.

Full title houses across the southern suburbs’ school belt present some of the best selling opportunities, he says.

In short supply are houses priced to around R6 million in the Rondebosch area, up to R5m in Claremont, up to R4m in Lynfrae and under the R3.5m price mark in the Bergvliet area.

“The closer your property is to the school or varsity route, the stronger the demand and the better the price that you are likely to achieve. Charmaine Scott-Wilson, Rondebosch agent for example says that houses close to Bishops can achieve from R10m. Anything below the R4m price band sells very quickly and for a good price too, she says.

Barbara van der Westhuyzen and Vanessa Clerke say the position is very similar for Newlands. Here, the strongest demand is in the R4m to R6m price band.

The Constantia areas are also experiencing a shortage of homes around the R4m to R5m price range, especially renovated properties, according to agent Faith Knight.

According to Billy Rautenbach, sales manager for Seeff Atlantic seaboard and City Bowl, the area continues to experience notable stock shortages in the sub-R3m price band for apartments and below R15m for houses.

The City Bowl area is experiencing some of the most serious stock shortages in years, according to agents Michele Apperley and Colette Jackson. Family houses on plots from 500m2 in the R5m to R12m price range are in demand and supply is short right now. Good security and direct access from garages into the homes are some of the things that buyers are asking for according to the agents.

The rise in traffic across the metro has resulted in a surge in demand for homes in the area, but Apperley and Jackson say that foreign and especially Joburg buyers are contributing to the still high demand.

“We have plenty of cash-ready buyers, but just not enough properties on the market. The data for single title houses sold in the City Bowl for this year confirms the demand and quick turnaround times with more than 60 percent of sales concluded within a month of listing,” say the agents.

On the Atlantic seaboard, suburbs such as Sea Point, Green Point, Three Anchor Bay and the Bo Kaap continue seeing strong demand and a shortage of family houses in the R4m to R10m range, according to agents Jessica Rother and Debbie Koping.

“Single title houses in Sea Point are for example selling for on average within 5 percent of the listing prices and just about all the sales were concluded within a month of listing. This is a clear signal of the still favourable selling conditions,” say Rother and Koping.

“Although there is now an oversupply of stock in the R35m-plus range on the Atlantic seaboard, there is a severe shortage of houses below R15m,” say agents Lance Cohen and Karen Lurie.

“Most houses sold across the Atlantic seaboard this year are priced below R15m. Anything in the R7m to R15m range in Bantry Bay, Fresnaye and Clifton is snapped up almost as soon as it comes onto the market. Aside from local buyers, a constant stream of Joburg buyers are also boosting the demand here,” say the agents.

Camps Bay agents, Pola and Nadine Jocum echo the sentiment and note that in the case of Camps Bay, almost any well-priced home below the R8m to R12m price range is snapped up quite quickly. An older home in Upper Tree Road that was listed for R8.9m for example was sold within days of coming onto Seeff's books. Even luxury houses in the R15m to R20m range are still experiencing strong demand,” say the Jocums.

Luxury apartments in the R7m to R9m price range in areas such as Fresnaye, Bantry Bay and Sea Point are also in short supply. Agents Adrian Mauerberger and Cecily Sher, say that buyers are mostly looking for a bit more space now, preferably apartments with three bedrooms that can accommodate families. Buyers comprise locals wanting to scale down as well as upcountry buyers aspiring to a seaside location.

Aside from the rising demand for residential apartments, the opportunity to capitalise on the demand for short-term lets on Airbnb is also fuelling the demand for apartments across the Atlantic seaboard and City Bowl.

Sectional title agents, Hilary Biccari and Warren Emett, say the strongest demand is for apartments in the R2m to R3m price range in areas such as Sea Point and Green Point and Three Anchor Bay.

Alan Screen says the position is very similar in the CBD and De Waterkant with apartments priced to R3m selling within about a month on average. In the CBD, the average difference between listing and selling prices is under 5 percent and the average selling price for apartments is R2.1m, up from around R1.9m for the same period last year.

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