PGP sees significant upturn in Western Seaboard sales

Pam Golding Properties (PGP) has seen a significant increase in residential property sales along Cape Town’s Western Seaboard, incorporating the coastal areas from Milnerton up to Melkbosstrand, and suburbs such as Tableview, Blouberg, Parklands and Sunningdale.  

For the calendar year to date, the company has almost doubled its sales year-on-year, and has seen steady growth in demand from a number of different buyer categories, particularly for homes priced under R3.5 million.

PGP’s area manager for the Western Seaboard, Ivan Swart, says between January and June this year (2012) PGP agents sold 52 properties, to a total value of R81 million.  “That’s very nearly double the figure for the same trading period in 2011, when our sales turnover for this area totalled R42 million,” he says.  “The average price of our units sold has also increased, from R1.433 million in the first half of 2011, to R1.55 million in the same period this year.  This is very encouraging for an area that was previously experiencing considerable pressure from prevailing economic conditions.”

Swart says the Western Seaboard remains an excellent starting-point for first-time buyers, with a number of affordable options for those seeking starter homes, particularly in suburbs like Parklands, Big Bay and Sunningdale.  “The greater Blouberg area has seen a large amount of activity around the R1.25 million mark and below,” he says.  “For example, when PGP recently launched the new Cap de Via apartment building to market in Bloubergrant, seven of the available 13 units were sold within one week.  Pricing here ranges from R389 000 to R435 000, inclusive of VAT, for a one-bedroomed apartment in this secure development.  In fact, we are seeing high demand in all of our gated estates and communities along the Western Seaboard, and particular demand for homes in Blouberg and surrounds.  Accessibility to the IRT bus route is certainly a big factor driving the popularity of this area, as it means buyers can use this reliable public transport system and save on private vehicle and petrol costs, as well as commuting time.”

Another area seeing steady activity is Parklands and its neighbour Sunningdale, particularly in the R1.5 million to R1.75 million price range.  PGP has broken the record for the highest price achieved in Sunningdale’s secure estates three times this year. “Last year our resident agent Hennie Venter sold a property for R1.595 million,” he says, “which at the time, was the highest price ever achieved in the suburb.  However in the first six months of 2012 he has re-set that mark three times, with sales of R1.7 million, R1.71 million and R1.84 million.”

Activity is also steady in the price range from R3 million to R3.5 million, and Swart says the most popular areas for this category include the Atlantic Beach and Sunset Links golf estates, as well as Big Bay’s more upmarket developments.

Whilst there is little activity above R6 million at present, Swart says buyers who do have access to this price range can pick and choose from several bargain offers, including a number of homes located directly on the beachfront.  “There has in fact been a slow but encouraging upturn in beachfront sales,” he says, “and there is abundant stock to choose from at present.  These homes are particularly popular with international buyers who value the magnificent views and seafront lifestyle.  Our recent buyers have included a German national who is a keen windsurfer, and a South African expatriate, both of whom will use their new beachfront apartments as a base for summer holidays at the sea.”

Other buyers who have purchased on the Western Seaboard have included some upcountry residents who are either relocating to the Cape, or buying for retirement, holiday or investment purposes.  But Swart says the market remains dominated by existing Cape Town residents, who are either scaling up due to improved circumstances, scaling down for retirement or after their children have left home, or moving for security reasons into a gated community.

Swart notes that access to mortgage finance remains a challenge for many buyers on the Western Seaboard, with a large number of offers still falling through due to banks’ lending criteria.  However PGP’s MD for the Western Cape metro region, Laurie Wener, notes that there has been a steep increase in recent months in the number of mortgage-dependent deals coming to fruition.  “This is evident in all price ranges up to R10 million,” she says, “and across the entire Cape metropolitan region.  It is welcome news, not only in terms of the number of deals we are able to conclude, but in general because it indicates an improvement in sentiment and positive outlook.”

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