Shortage of residential stock in Cape Town City Bowl

Particularly high demand for homes in Cape Town’s City Bowl has resulted in a shortage of stock available for purchase at present (June 2012).  

So says Pam Golding Properties, whose City Bowl agents sold 25 homes in the area between 1 January and 22 May 2012.  Suburbs seeing the highest demand at present are Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof and Upper Gardens.  The shortage extends to both the freehold housing market and the sectional title market.

PGP’s area manager for the City Bowl and Atlantic Seaboard, Basil Moraitis, says the City Bowl is one of the most stable residential markets in Cape Town, thanks to its prime central location, sought-after lifestyle and limited geography – the physical presence of the surrounding mountains and ocean making it impossible for the area to ever grow in size.  “The City Bowl offers a vibrant cosmopolitan lifestyle,” he says, “with coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants and gourmet delis scattered throughout the area.  It is also home to several highly-rated schools including St Cyprian’s, Herzlia, the Deutsche Schule and Jan van Riebeeck Primary and High.”

“For those working in the central city,” he continues, “it offers a quick commute to work, while for students, it is well placed to access the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the University of Cape Town and the numerous smaller colleges located in the area.  And of course, many homes enjoy panoramic views of the city, mountain and ocean.  It is no surprise, given all these factors, that the area is in perennial demand, particularly from parents who want to live in the catchment area for the schools.  The spacious family homes with ample garden space for children to enjoy are ideal for these buyers, while professionals and singles enjoy the convenience and security of the area’s apartments and townhouse complexes.”

Moraitis says the highest demand at present is for houses with a minimum of three bedrooms, well-sized gardens and secure parking, in the price range from R3 million to R5 million.  In the sectional title market, buyers are chiefly seeking two-bedroomed apartments with secure parking, in the price range from R800 000 to R1.3 million.  “It is occasionally possible to obtain apartments below this price range,” he says, “as entry level prices start from around R600 000 for bachelor units, going up to as much as R18 million for top-end luxury penthouses.  Freestanding luxury homes designed by leading architects and offering hit-tech security, superb views and every modern convenience, can fetch up to R25 million, while a semi-detached cottage without off-street parking can be obtained for a very reasonable R1.8 million.”

PGP’s own recent sales (in the six months from December 2011 to May 2012) have included the following notable deals:
·         R7.9 million for a four-bedroomed home in Oranjezicht, occupying an erf of over 900sqm.  The home’s garden setting, bordering a nature reserve, and magnificent views, were key selling points for the local buyer.
·         R7.3 million for a 259sqm designer apartment in Higgovale, occupying an elevated location with panoramic city and bay views, and hi-tech security.  The buyer was a local resident relocating from the Southern Suburbs.
·         R5.5 million for a three-bedroomed townhouse located high on the slopes of Higgovale, with excellent views.  The home was sold to a French buyer.

PGP’s MD for the Western Cape metro region, Laurie Wener, says the unique character of the area ensures its appeal to a broad range of buyers:  “There is a wonderful blend of old and new in the City Bowl,” she says, “from historic homes and Victoriana to modern hi-tech apartments with every conceivable luxury feature. Developments like The Orangerie in Gardens, for example, offer a secure modern lifestyle, yet are located within walking distance of any number of historic landmarks, such as the Company’s Gardens, the Labia Theatre, the Garden’s Shul and the Mount Nelson Hotel.  The area has everything for the contemporary resident – art galleries, museums, boutique shopping and trendy restaurants – yet within a few minutes from home one can also be climbing a mountain and drinking in one of the most spectacular views in the Cape.”

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