Urban regeneration extends the City Bowl value corridor

Cape Town’s growing urban population and increasing demand for residential property close to the CBD has driven the revitalisation of adjacent suburbs with Woodstock, Walmer Estate and University Estate now attracting broad buyer interest.

Rapidly rising as three of the city’s most dynamic and active property markets they have enjoyed strident year-on-year increases in average home values in recent years, with ongoing upgrades and regeneration underpinning their strength.

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says: “According to Propstats, a total of 32 sales were recorded in Woodstock in 2012, with only two of these transactions realising more than R2 million, but just two years later the number of sales had almost doubled, with five of them breaching the R3m mark.

“Last year 68 properties changed hands, 10 sales exceeded R3m and one fell just short of R5m.”

Lightstone data reveals that in the Estates, property values have risen this year alone.

“In the 12 months ending 30 April, 29 house sales in Walmer Estate realised an average sale price of R1.98m and in University Estate, eight houses sold at an average sale price of R2.1m.

“In Walmer Estate, 12 of the transactions were concluded between February and April this year at an average price of R2.07m and in University Estate the average house price during the same period increased to R2.28m.”

Geffen adds that the pervasive trend of property renovation in recent years has seen the upper end of the market surge in the Estates with homes in this segment selling for between R3.5m and R4.5m, and properties further up against the mountain – most with breath-taking views across Table Bay – realising as much as R9m.

Dave Burger, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty says: “These suburbs have become very popular with young professionals working in the city who can’t afford the spiralling City Bowl prices.

“Extensive investment in Woodstock over the past decade has seen former light industrial properties being converted into modern mixed use developments and the development of these residential spaces offers busy singles and couples lock-up-and-go convenience.

“But one of the biggest selling points of the area is its all-encompassing sense of community. Woodstock is a Mother City institution; many families have lived there for generations and this kinship embrace affords new residents a unique insight into Cape Town’s long and multi-cultured history.”

Burger says the Estates are especially sought after by young families, as the properties are mainly freehold and most of the homes are spacious and set on sizeable plots with stunning views, offering exceptional value when compared to the Southern Suburbs and City Bowl.

The rental market has grown in tandem with the sales market, which has precipitated a surge in investor purchasing. Sectional title properties in particular are realising excellent returns.

“There is now massive demand for these properties, with up to 90% of the units in new developments selling off-plan within a few days of launch.

“These units start at around R1m for a studio apartment that will realise a monthly rental of around R8 000 and range up to around R2.5m for a spacious two bedroomed flat. Average monthly rentals on the larger units are between R12 000 and R15 000.”

But Burger cautions: “The window of opportunity to get a foot in the market is closing quickly as entry level properties are becoming a scarce commodity and property values are increasing monthly.

“The wide-ranging regeneration, easy access to CBD and to the major freeways out of town, as well as the proliferation of new first rate amenities, have made this part of the city very appealing to local and upcountry buyers.

“Roodebloem Road in Woodstock is lined with restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines and the area surrounding the popular Old Biscuit Mill is home to an array of craft and artisanal eateries as well as quirky boutiques and décor outlets.”

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