15% uptick in Plettenberg property market

The Plettenberg Bay property market has picked up by about 15% in terms of unit sales volumes, with over 300 properties selling during the past year, compared to around 260 in 2011, says Seeff Principal, Kevin Engelsman.

We have more than doubled our sales volumes in the past year, selling 88 properties to the value of well over R170 million compared to 42 unit sales in the previous year. While the majority of sales in the town are still in the sub-R4 million price band, it was encouraging to note that holiday home buyers are back in force with a few high value properties selling for between R15,5 million and over R23 million, mostly to Joburg buyers. This is something that we have not seen much of in the last three years, he adds.

Engelsman also says that many of the holiday properties that have sold over the past year have been older homes that buyers are looking to renovate. Those with sea views or near the beach especially, have attracted significant interest over the past year.

There has also been renewed interest in investing in vacant plots with about 20% of all sales over the past year being vacant land. Many buyers are planning to build their dream holiday homes here in the near future, he says. The Whale Rock development plots that range in size from 1,021sqm to 1,600sqm that were released at discounted rates of up to 65% towards December, sold out within 5 weeks, he adds. Seeff alone sold 24 of the available 33 stands at prices that ranged from R162,500 to R330,000.

Following a period of high price expectation on the part of sellers, he says, that last year saw serious sellers becoming more amenable to pricing in line with market demands and this encouraged higher transaction volumes. We anticipate that holiday and investor buyers from the Johannesburg area, the Cape and other inland provinces will continue to look for good value this year and we can confirm that this year already seem to be off to a good start with our agents concluding more deals over the December and January period compared to the previous year.

House prices though are still trading at relatively flat levels. It remains a buyers' market and, especially in view of the lacklustre economic growth forecasted for 2013, those who hope to sell will need to continue to price conservatively, but buyers really do have a pick of excellent buys here now.

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