After an extremely quiet 2010, sales in the upmarket Cape Town suburb of Welgemoed have begun to revive in 2011.  The suburb is one of the oldest and most exclusive in the Northern Suburbs, and lies on a hillside just off the N1 highway, about 20km from the central city.  Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that its Welgemoed agents concluded 21 sales over the six months from December 2010 to May 2011, to a total value of R76.3 million.  This is more than double the sales value concluded in the same period a year earlier, and nearly double the number of unit sales.  The top sales concluded by PGP during this period were R8.5 million for a home in Oude Westhof, and R8 million for a property in Van Riebeekshof.  PGP also reports an increase in showhouse attendance during this period, as well as a rise in the number of website enquiries for the area.

PGP’s area manager for the Northern Suburbs, Maureen Nel, says Welgemoed has always enjoyed perennial demand from buyers.  “Welgemoed is highly sought-after for its outstanding location, which offers spectacular views of the False Bay coastline, proximity to the Tygerberg Nature Reserve and the Bellville Golf Course, as well as the Durbanville wine route,” she says.  “There is an air of tranquillity and privacy, thanks to the large plots, with spacious homes set among established trees.  There are also a number of excellent schools in the area, which are a significant attraction for families.  There is a good a mix of older properties – some historic buildings in the suburb date back to the 1700’s – and modern homes, including a number of properties which have been extensively renovated or even completely rebuilt.  This means that there is something to suit virtually every taste.  Proximity to the N1 highway is another draw-card, as this lessens both the time and cost of commuting to work.  The result of all these factors is that buyers tend to put down roots and stay in the area for many years, resulting in a low turnover of homes.”

Security is also becoming an increasingly important pull-factor for Welgemoed.  “The relatively low crime levels here are a big draw-card,” says Annien Borg, PGP’s MD for the Boland and Overberg regions (incorporating the Northern Suburbs).  “There are not many upmarket suburbs where one still finds homes opening directly onto the street – yet in Welgemoed, high walls and electric fences remain the exception rather than the rule.  There are several very active Homeowners’ Associations in the area, which ensure that the local communities play an active role in keeping their streets safe and clean.  This not only contributes to security, but also creates an immense sense of pride of ownership, which is evident in the attractive, clean verges and public spaces.”

Welgemoed also has a number of secure estates such as Welgedacht and Kanonberg, which are proving increasingly popular, particularly with family buyers.  While homes in these estates tend to be priced at a premium, Nel says many buyers are prepared to pay extra for the added security features such as 24 hour guard patrols and access control.  “We are finding that some buyers are even prepared to scale down on the size of their home and the extent of their garden, in exchange for living within a secure perimeter,” she says.  “One currently pays around R4 million for a reasonably-sized family home in one of these estates.”

Outside of the secure estates, Nel reports that there is ongoing demand for larger family homes with at least four bedrooms and with fair-sized gardens suitable for children to play in.  “There is a shortage of stock to suit younger families looking in the R2 million to R2.5 million price range,” she says, “while those looking in the R3.5 million to R5 million bracket may also have to bide their time, as requests for homes in this price category currently far outweigh supply.”  Also in demand are starter homes priced below R2 million, townhouses priced below R1.8 million, and apartments selling for under R1 million.  These lower price ranges are mostly to be found in Welgemoed’s satellite areas such as the TygerValley Waterfront, De Bron, Loevenstein and Blomvlei.

Released on behalf of Pam Golding Properties by Philippa Hudson

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