Strand market on the up and up

With Cape Town’s strident residential property market creating double-digit average annual inflation there are few accessible options remaining for first-time buyers and young families, but investors seeking value as well as lifestyle still have a window of opportunity to find their dream homes in Strand.

A beautifully renovated four bedroom family home that offers lifestyle and convenience can be purchased in the Strand area for around R2.15 million. This property boasts the additional features of an enclosed braai room, a large family kitchen with a separate scullery and secure parking for four cars.

This is according to Chris Cilliers, CEO and Principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Winelands, who says Strand was always the sleepy seaside village overshadowed by neighbouring Somerset West and bypassed on the way to Sir Lowry’s Pass, “but this is no longer the case and the coastal town is now attracting considerable investor interest”.

“Strand is one of the few places where it is still possible to invest in a family home or beachfront apartment at a fraction of the cost of most comparable areas in Cape Town, enabling young families, aspiring professionals and retirees to realise the dream of a relaxed ocean-side lifestyle in a city where that usually comes at a premium price.” 

Retirees looking to maximise their inflation-eroded pensions can buy a modern one bedroom apartment from around R400 000 or a secure two bedroom townhouse from R600 000, and for aspiring young professionals who seek the prestige of beachfront living,  apartments with sweeping sea views  start at around R1.7 million.

At the upper end of the sectional title market, contemporary designer apartments with panoramic vistas and luxury finishes are now nudging the R4m mark.

Cilliers says there are also several options for young families looking to get a foot in the market with cosy two bedroom starter houses priced between R1m and R1.4m, while the entry level for three and four-bedroom houses is between R1.3m and R1.5m.

“The most sought-after freestanding homes at the top end of the market are in Greenways Golf Estate, where prices range between R5m and R9m depending on size and position,” says Cilliers.

Analysis of Propstats data reveals that property values have increased substantially over the past two years.

Between 2014 and 2015 the average sale price of apartments in Strand rose by 8.9% from R570 000 to R621 000, jumping by 50% to R935 000 by the end of September this year.

Houses fared equally well, with the average sale price of R842 000 in 2014 increasing by almost 25% to R1.05m in 2015, followed by an increase of just under 24% to raise the average house price to R1.3m at the end of the third quarter of 2016.

Cilliers says that while most property purchases in Strand are still “buy to live”, there has been a notable increase in the number of investment buyers.

“This is always a good indication of a strengthening market in which investors are confident of achieving solid returns.”

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, believes that the town’s growing popularity with investors and the market’s upward trajectory will be further bolstered by the city’s beachfront upgrades that recently commenced,

“Transport for Cape Town, the City of Cape Town’s transport authority, has allocated a budget of around R103m for the first phase to upgrade the kilometre stretch between the Strand Pavilion and Da Gama Street.

“Work has also begun on the much-anticipated rehabilitation of the sea wall to protect Beach Road along the Strand beachfront from being windblown and regularly covered in sand, as well as to prevent the road’s frequent flooding during leap tides and storms.

“This will significantly bolster trade along the beachfront, where businesses are currently regularly sand-blasted and faced with reduced turnover when the sea laps at their doorsteps.”

Included in the 12-year plan is the construction of a brand new pier that will stretch some 200m into the sea, the installation of new street lights and street furniture as well as the modernisation of Strand’s CBD to create a world-class coastal resort.

Geffen believes that the upgrades will have a significant influence on the broader Helderberg economy as well as further stimulate the residential property market.

Traditionally home to the 50+ age group, the Strand area is becoming increasingly popular to a broad spectrum of buyers, with the number of investors under the age of 35 doubling during the past year.

Cilliers says: “Strand is an attractive option for young families seeking a quieter life as excellent schools, hospitals, sporting facilities and top class retail and entertainment amenities are all no further than a 15-minute drive.”

Residents are also only a 50-minute drive from Cape Town, 25 minutes from Cape Town International Airport and in close proximity to a multitude of attractions including the Winelands, the Whale Route and the world-renowned Kogelberg Biosphere.

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