Rondebosch market proves that location really is everything

The real estate mantra, ‘location, location, location’ remains a strong market influence regardless of the prevailing economy, with suburbs like Rondebosch enjoying the buffering benefit of being ideally situated.

A beautifully maintained 1904 character home in Rondebosch’s sought after Golden Mile is a unique opportunity to own a slice of history in a prime location. On the market for R8.25 million, this gracious seven bedroom family home is set amongst mature oak trees and fully alarmed with security gates, it also shares a borehole

Lesley Payne, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty says that their office actually saw an increase in sales last year and, unlike most areas, the upper end of the market also didn’t slow down dramatically.

“Although property prices at the top end of the market definitely stabilised, the number of sales remained consistent, and this can largely be attributed to the fact that most of these properties are located near the most sought-after schools. In fact, Golden Mile, arguably the best address in Rondebosch and within walking distance of the best schools, had the most sales.

“However, we did see an increase in the time properties spent on the market across the board which is clearly evidenced by Propstats data. Between 2015 and 2017, the average time houses spent on the market rose annually from 25 days to 52 and finally 61 days last year. During the same period, time sectional title units spent on the market increased from 47 days to 80 but then last year this dipped again to an average of just 27 days.”

Payne attributes this reduction to the growing dearth of entry level properties as well as the growing shortage of suitable student accommodation.

Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says that although the sharp upward trajectory of property values in this popular leafy suburb has evened off, there has still been solid growth, especially in the housing sector.

“In 2015, the average house price in Rondebosch was R4.55 million, increasing to R4.86m (6.81%) in 2016 then by a substantial 12.75% last year to R5.48m.

“The situation was a little different in the sectional title market where apartment values rose from R1.8m to R2.06m (14.4%) in 2016, but dipped slightly again last year by around 4%, ending on R1.98m despite the time spent on the market being more than half that of the previous year.”

Geffen adds that the consistent popularity of the suburb is further evidenced by Lightstone’s demographic statistics which reveal that a whopping 40% of current owners have owned their homes for seven years or less. One emerging trend that Rondebosch does share an emergent trend with most areas in the city is an increase in renovation.

“More people are renovating rather than moving, due to the costs involved, when their families’ needs change, especially if their children still have many school years ahead.”

Unfortunately, however, Rondebosch’s sought-after location cannot buffer it from the growing water crisis and, like agents around the city, Payne also reports a significant drop in queries from upcountry buyers.

However, despite the looming threat of Day Zero, the year has got off to a good start with an unexpected number of queries for valuations as well as several sales within the first month.

“If there an encouraging solution to the water situation is found soon and the current political turmoil is resolved in the near future, I think it could be a great year for the real estate market in Rondebosch.

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