RE/MAX Suburb Trend Report – Woodstock

Situated just east of Cape Town’s city centre on the lower slopes of Devil’s Peak, the suburb of Woodstock boasts panoramic views of the harbour.

Area history

Situated just east of Cape Town’s city centre on the lower slopes of Devil’s Peak, the suburb of Woodstock boasts panoramic views of the harbour. This area was originally inhabited by the Khoikhoi until the arrival of the Dutch settlers in the 1600s. In 1692, the Dutch established three freehold farms in the region and the area become known as Papendorp, after Pieter van Papendorp, a settler who arrived in the area during the mid-eighteenth century. After the railway line was built halfway through the 19th century, the Woodstock area became an especially popular coastal suburb featuring seaside cottages and beaches stretching to the Castle of Good Hope.  Although briefly called New Brighton, the area was officially named Woodstock in 1867 following a vote of the residents at the Woodstock Hotel.

Following the subdivision of the old farms in area for low cost housing in 1870, Woodstock began to rapidly expand and attract large numbers of people. So much so, that by 1884, not even a year after becoming a separate municipality, Woodstock had become the third largest town in the country. Industry in the area began to flourish during the First and Second Anglo-Boer Wars as massive demand for supplies flowed in from the British troops. This changed the nature of the suburb as more and more industrial activity ensued. In 1879, the Woodstock Glass Factory was opened, manufacturing the first glass made on South African soil.

During the 1950s the land reclamation in Table Bay caused Woodstock to no longer have a beach. This, along with the ever increasing industry in the area, led to the suburb moving away from its seaside resort status. In the second half of the 20th century the lower parts of Woodstock became dilapidated changing the face of the suburb. However, following a programme to rejuvenate parts of the area, Woodstock has once again become a popular area in which live and work. Woodstock has transformed into a vibrant urban environment with many trendy spots frequented by the locals. The area successfully combines inner-city living with its village like atmosphere.

Area property information

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, says many young professionals are taking advantage of the affordable home prices in the area and purchasing renovated and restored Victorian style, semi-detached homes. He notes that figures from Lightstone point out that 40.8% of the recent buyers in the area were aged between 18 and 35 years old, while 40% were aged between 36 and 49 years old. Consumers from the 36 to 49 age demographic also represent around 55% of the recent sellers, by far the largest age group of sellers in Woodstock. Goslett says that a large number of existing homeowners in the area have owned their property for 11 years or more.

According to Goslett, aside from a marginal price decrease in 2009, Woodstock property has been relatively unaffected in terms of price growth by the recession. During 2011, both freestanding homes and sectional title units achieved record average prices of R1 095 000 and R620 000, respectively. In 2012, the average price of a sectional title unit continued to increase while the average price of a freestanding home saw another slight drop. However, the average price of a freestanding remained much higher than prices seen during the boom.

Goslett says that freestanding homes in Woodstock outsell sectional title units by approximately five to one on a yearly basis. He notes that this is largely due to the fact that the market stock in the area consists of 84.85% of freestanding homes and 15.15% sectional title units.

Property price trends

Demand for property

Goslett says due to the rejuvenation programme in Woodstock, property is in high demand, particular those that offer good value for money. He notes that the most sought-after real estate in Woodstock are homes priced between R400 000 and R800 000. These properties account for around 41% of the homes sold in the area from January 2012 to December 2012. He notes that 36.1% of homes sold during the same period were priced between R800 000 and R1.5 million, while 8.3% of properties sold in the same period were priced under R400 000. During 2012, approximately 14% of homes sold in Woodstock were priced between R1.5 million and R3 million.  

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