Plumstead now the jewel of the Cape Town southern suburbs middle market

Plumstead is fast becoming one of the most sought after areas in the Southern Suburbs as its characteristic larger, classic houses on sizeable plots still afford investors great value while the suburb’s apartments and semidetached homes offer an accessible entry point into the market.

This expansive five bedroom home recently realised a record sale price for the area (Plumstead below the railway line) when it sold for R3.8m. A clear indication that while the market is growing, Plumstead still offers excellent value in close proximity to all the amenities of the Southern Suburbs

Glynis Kareklas, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says: “The Plumstead market is booming and we generally receive three or four queries as soon as a property hits the market, with some homes even being sold within a day of listing.

“Our show houses are also receiving a record number of viewings. At the end of last year 50 people came to view an older three bedroom, one bathroom house that was on the market for R1.6 million but in need of more than a little TLC.”

In December Kareklas achieved the highest sale price for the area (Plumstead below the railway line) when she sold a spacious five bedroom Edwardian home in Southfield Road for R3.8m to the second buyer who viewed the property only two days after it was released onto the market.

“The surrounding areas have become unaffordable to the middle income bracket,” says Kareklas, “and, with the average house price in Plumstead still hovering around R2m, it’s one of the few remaining suburbs where families can buy a home that isn’t miles from essential amenities and schools.”

The entry level for a freestanding home is around R1.7m for a property that which generally requires major renovation while the mid-level houses priced between R2m and R2.5m are mostly in need of cosmetic upgrades, especially in the kitchens and bathrooms.

Says Kareklas: “Plumstead is attracting a growing number of speculators who are on the lookout for fixer-uppers they can buy for R1.6m to R1.9m and then sell quickly for between R2.5m and R2.9m after renovation.”

It is of no surprise then that these are currently the most popular homes in Plumstead as well as the market segment where agents report the most stock shortage.

“Character homes are also very popular,” says Kareklas, “and these are situated in the hub of the suburb, close to the station. Most are about 80 years old and, set in established gardens, have wonderful wooden floors and architraves, with some also boasting Art Deco features.”

Correspondingly, the rental market is very active and demand consistently exceeds supply, especially for three bedroomed, two bathroom homes.

“Most families with children prefer to live in a house opposed to sectional title units, but rentals in other areas are now generally beyond the budgets of many families.”

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says: “Although less than a third of the properties in Plumstead are sectional title, singles or couples with busy lifestyles still have an array of options, from comfortable one bedroom flats that start at around R700 000 to upmarket modern apartments for up to R1.8m.

He adds: “Plumstead has become a very vibrant suburb in recent years, with more and more young families and up-and-coming professionals moving into the area, buying the homes that the older, existing residents are selling in order to downsize or move to retirement homes.

“The suburb offers them myriad draw-cards, not least the fact that it is home to three primary schools and a high school as well as several crèches, as well as being in close proximity to many of Cape Town's best schools including the renowned Bishops Diocesan College, Herschel Girls' and Wynberg Schools' campuses.

“Residents enjoy the convenience having a choice of top class shopping malls, restaurants and sports and leisure facilities, and the False Bay beaches and Constantia wine estates are only a short drive away.

“Plumstead also offers easy access to the M3 and M5 highways and the suburb is just a short train journey from the CBD.”

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