No winter freeze for Atlantic Seaboard sales

The property market on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard is typically seasonal, experiencing its highest sales activity in mid-summer, when the coastal suburbs are on show to holidaymakers and locals alike, in their best possible sun-drenched condition.  

Sales activity tends to slow during the Cape’s cold, wet winter months – yet for Pam Golding Properties (PGP), 2012 has proved to be very much the exception to that rule.  The company has achieved its best ever quarterly results for the mid-winter period from June to August, despite this winter having been even colder and wetter than usual.  PGP’s Atlantic Seaboard office sold 34 properties during the month of August alone, to a total value of over R158 million – its highest monthly total turnover ever, topping the previous figure of R146 million, set in December 2011.  Sales in the same area topped R84 million in both June and July (2012), bringing the total sales figure for the mid-winter quarter to over R326 million.

PGP’s area manager for the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl, Basil Moraitis, says the demand for homes during this period (June to August 2012) was spread across most suburbs and price brackets, from R900 000 apartments in Green Point to R30 million luxury homes in Bantry Bay.  “The increase in sales can be partly attributed to the fact that a number of sellers who had been waiting for some time for the market to turn, felt this was the opportune moment to accept good offers,” he says.  “In general, the Atlantic Seaboard is a very mature market, with a history of being relatively recession-resistant.  Buyers who want this iconic lifestyle simply won’t settle for anything else – it just cannot be replicated in any other areas.  The market has also opened up to a wider variety of buyers thanks to the investment over the past few years in upgrading retail and schooling facilities, making the area more accessible to family buyers.  The superb urban park precinct has also greatly boosted its appeal, allowing residents to exercise in a beautiful outdoor setting before relaxing at any number of cafes, coffee shops and restaurants in the area.”

Notable sales over the mid-winter period included a Clifton Ridge bungalow with attached parking, sold to a local buyer for R17.5 million.  PGP also sold a luxury home in Ocean View Drive, Bantry Bay, immediately upon listing, to a German buyer for R30 million.  “The number of international buyers in the market is still relatively low,” says Moraitis.  “However they are starting to emerge in stronger numbers again, particularly in more affordable price-brackets than was typically their focus in previous years.  For example, we have sold quite a few middle-market apartments to international clients in the R2.5 million to R5 million range, in new developments such as The Legacy in Green Point.”

Another market segment showing some signs of re-emergence is that of investor buyers.  Like the international buyers, Moraitis says they have been drawn mostly to newly-completed apartment buildings, being prepared to pay a little more to buy into a brand new development with top-quality finishes.  “The Atlantic Seaboard is a stable area with a proven track record for rental demand,” he says, “making it a natural choice for investor buyers.”

PGP’s MD for the Western Cape metro region, Laurie Wener, says the record quarterly sales figures can also be partly attributed to PGP capturing additional market share on the Atlantic Seaboard.  “Where some competitors may have typically scaled back during the tough economic times, we have remained committed to recruiting and maintaining a team of hard-working professionals who have the area knowledge and skills to help both buyers and sellers negotiate the prevailing conditions,” she says. “They offer a premium service, backed by a trusted and respected brand, with a nationwide referral system that enables them to access clients from all over the country.  Quality support staff and ongoing investment in training and marketing has ensured that we are able not only to weather challenging market conditions, but to improve our performance.”

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