Western Seaboard - buyers cherry picking

Local and international luxury buyers are cherry-picking the best value on offer in the luxury housing sector above R10 million, says Seeff Atlantic Seaboard agent, Lance Cohen whose sales of close to R230 million in just over a year includes a number of high value sales above this price mark.

Following the recent sale of a trophy home with panoramic sea views in Fresnaye for a record price of R42 million, the agent has just concluded a joint sale of a trophy home in Clifton for R37,5 million within a month of its listing.

The buyer is an Australian national who will be relocating here. This 700sqm Clifton Road home ticks all the boxes of what luxury buyers are prepared to pay for right now says the agent. The home combines architectural excellence with state-of-the-art finishes and full automation and offers multiple living areas including a private cinema, art room, study and more along with four luxurious bedroom suites and a magnificent sea-view location.

Buyers have been a mix of local residential buyers along with Johannesburgers, expats and foreign nationals who have invested in holiday homes and apartments here, says Cohen. In Clifton, a number of sea-view apartments that overlooks the beaches have been bought by local and Johannesburg buyers for around R10 million up to over R20 million. A European buyer who owns property all over the world including the South of France bought an apartment in Valhalla for R13 million. Two townhouses in Kloof Road sold to local buyers for around R10 million each while an expat based in Spain paid R11,5 million for a villa in Clifton Road.

Sales in Fresnaye and Bantry Bay include a De Wet Road home with ocean views as far as the eye can see that was snapped up by a Hong Kong-based expat for R22 million. In Bantry Bay, a local buyer paid R15 million for a villa in Ave Marina before we had even listed it, says Cohen. A number of Johannesburg buyers have also invested in homes in the suburb. These include two homes in De Wet Road that sold for R16 million each and a home in Ave St Leon that sold for R15,5 million.

While the allure of the country's premier metropolitan coastal strip is obvious, Cohen says that high net-worth buyers are discerning and want good value and a sound investment.

Interestingly, there has never been a shortage of buyers on the Atlantic Seaboard, says Seeff Atlantic Seaboard managing director, Ian Slot. The only real challenge here since the market downturn has been the gap between seller expectations and what buyers are prepared to pay.
Demand has been steady here since 2010 with sellers achieving good capital growth despite market fluctuations. Most of the luxury sales are bought by cash buyers and while there is still a difference between the asking and sales price, sellers are achieving outstanding capital growth. This is well illustrated by looking at property sales during the first quarter of 2012. A total of 23 properties priced above R10 million sold to the total value of R431,250,000 at a nominal capital growth rate of 19% per annum over a period of 6,9 yy/mm.

In the suburbs of Clifton, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay alone, well over R1,1 billion in real estate has sold over the past year says Slot. In Clifton, about 37 units properties have been selling on average each year since 2010. Out of the more than R300 million in real estate that has sold here in the past year, 7 properties were priced above R20 million. In Bantry Bay, close to R450 million in real estate has sold since mid-2011; 5 priced above R20 million and a further 12 priced above R10 million. In Fresnaye, about 75 properties have been selling on average each year since 2010. Of the close to R400 million in real estate that has sold in the suburb over the past year, 12 were priced above the R10 million mark.

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