The holiday season from mid-December to mid-January is typically a time of slowdown in the property market, as sellers and buyers shift their focus to seasonal activities and many estate agents enjoy some time off with their families.  However, Pam Golding Properties’ MD for the Western Cape metro region, Laurie Wener, reports that the past festive season was not as quiet as anticipated.  PGP agents in the Cape Town metropolitan area reported steady sales throughout the holiday period, including a number of key sales on major public holidays – even Christmas Day.  One property, an apartment in Sea Point, sold within just two hours of listing.

“Many of our agents chose to remain active and available to clients who wanted to conduct business regardless of the time of year,” says Wener, “and this dedication certainly paid off.   Linda Kagan, for example, sold an apartment on the Atlantic Seaboard on Christmas Day, another on the Day of Goodwill, and yet another on New Year’s Day.  Lynn Pinn sold a R10.25 million apartment at the V&A Waterfront on New Year’s Day, while in Camps Bay, Jodi Taylor sold a property on Christmas Day.  Our Newlands agents Heather Turner and Vicki Francis also sold two properties over the Christmas weekend.”

Wener says there was particularly brisk trade in the sectional title market over the festive season, particularly along the Atlantic Seaboard and in the City Bowl.  “We saw a noticeable increase in local investors using cash as leverage to negotiate favourable prices,” she says, “and buying with a medium- to long-term view for sound capital growth potential.” 
There was also brisk activity in the City Bowl residential market, where houses are always in demand.  PGP reported particular demand in the R4 million to R7 million price bracket this season, predominantly from local buyers.   But despite a shortage of stock in this area, Wener says buyers continue to be price-sensitive and very value-conscious.

Among the key sales recorded by PGP in the Western Cape metro region this festive season were:

Atlantic Seaboard
·         Two bungalows sold on Clifton Third Beach, at a combined value of R38.5 million
·         R9.6 million achieved for a penthouse apartment in Clifton
·         Five apartments sold in Sea Point to a total value of over R20 million
·         An apartment in Sea Point’s sought-after Dunhof building sold for R2.26 million – within just two hours of listing
·         Three apartments at the V&A Waterfront sold for a total value of R26.35 million
·         11 units sold at the new luxury  Amalfi development in Mouille Point, to a total value of R61 million
·         Six properties sold in Camps Bay to a total value of R35.4 million
City Bowl
·          Five houses sold to a total value of R20.7 million
·         Nine apartments sold to a total value of R15.1 million – six in the City Bowl and three in the Central City
Southern Suburbs
·         Six homes sold in Constantia in six weeks, to a total value of over R29 million
·         Ten properties sold in Rondebosch within a 10 week period.  These included a record sale of R9 million, breaking the existing record  of R8.55 million for a home sold by PGP in the first quarter of 2010.
·         Eleven properties sold in Newlands over eight weeks, to a total value of R42.6 million

The company’s rental division also reported excellent activity levels over the festive season, especially in long-term business in the Southern Suburbs, City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard.  PGP’s director for Western Cape rentals, Dexter Leite, noted the following key deals for luxury homes, concluded by PGP agents:
·         A home in Bishopscourt, let at R51 000 per month
·         A house in Llandudno, let at R47 000 per month
·         R32 000 per month secured for a Clifton apartment
·         R30 000 for a house in Constantia
·         Two penthouses leased at Mandela Rhodes Place in the Central City, at R21 000 and R20 000 per month
·         R18 000 per month for a property in Steenberg Estate
·         R17 000 per month for an apartment in Mouille Point
·         R15 000 per month for a house in Newlands
·         R14 000 per month for a unit at The Orangerie in Gardens

In conclusion, Wener notes that market activity increased towards mid-January, and is expected to continue picking up pace.  “We anticipate good results for the first two months of 2011,” she says.  “The recent market activity levels are encouraging, as is the fact the Western Cape Metro region’s sales turnover is 23% ahead of the same period last year (2010).  However, we remain cognisant that there can be no significant overall market recovery until financial institutions relax their lending criteria, and until the general economic conditions show further improvement.  At present it is the high proportion of cash sales, together with low risk assessment in mature areas, that is supporting sales.  But sentiment is definitely improving, with a return of consumer confidence and an awareness that this is an opportune time to buy.”

Released on behalf of Pam Golding Properties by Philippa Hudson

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