Location and views drive healthy demand in Woodstock

The suburb of Woodstock, located on the eastern fringes of Cape Town’s central city, is seeing strong demand from buyers wanting affordable homes in a convenient central location.  

Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that there is currently a buoyant market with a shortage of stock in the suburb and its neighbouring areas of Walmer Estate, University Estate and Salt River.  Well-priced homes are selling quickly when they do come onto the market – sometimes within a few days of listing. 
PGP agents Val James and Ninon Connaway say demand is coming from a broad range of buyers, from young single professionals to extended families, investors and retirees, as well as those seeking older homes suitable for extensive renovation.  The strong demand and shortage of supply is resulting in upward pressure on prices, although affordability remains a key attracting feature for this area.  “The convenient location is another major draw-card,” say the agents, “with easy access to the N1 and N2 highways and only a five minute commute into the central city.  This has been further enhanced by the recent opening of the new MyCiti bus route in the area.  Buyers are also attracted by the lovely sea and mountain views which many homes in the upper sections of these suburbs enjoy – akin to those of the City Bowl, but available at far lower prices.”

Woodstock and Salt River
Woodstock’s residential offering includes a mix of apartments, freestanding houses and semi-detached properties, among them a number of character-filled Victorian homes.  Plots are typically under 500sqm with small gardens, and buyers pay a premium for homes with views as well as off-street parking.  Entry-level pricing for Upper Woodstock starts at around R500 000 for apartments, or R900 000 for a basic small home without off-street parking.  More substantial houses are priced from R1.4 million to R1.6 million, with the top end for this area coming in at around R2.5 million or more, depending on size, parking facilities, security features and location within the suburb.  Upper Woodstock tends to command higher prices, especially close to Roodebloem Road with its mix of restaurants, bars and coffee shops.  James and Conway say the suburb tends to be dominated by buyers aged 25 to 35, many getting their first foot into the property market or buying their first home together as a married couple or young family.

Both Woodstock and adjacent Salt River have become increasingly trendy over the past few years, thanks in part to the opening of a number of lifestyle, design and “foodie” destinations, such as The Palms design centre and the Old Biscuit Mill with its enormously popular weekend food market. 
A handful of new modern apartment buildings have also been built, among them the popular Upper East Side in Salt River, which offers an upmarket lifestyle with on-site gym, pool and restaurants, excellent security and under-cover parking.  There are very few apartments on the market in this building, and those that are listed, tend to sell very quickly. James and Conway recently sold a two-bedroomed apartment here for R1.5 million, within two days of listing.  Smaller bachelor apartments in the building are priced from around R600 000, and buyers tend to be aged 20 to 30 – usually young professionals working in the city or in the many design and advertising agencies which have made their base in the greater Woodstock area.
Walmer Estate and University Estate
Immediately above Woodstock, on the lower slopes of Table Mountain, the suburbs of Walmer Estate and University Estate tend to attract more mature buyers, typically aged 30 and older. Their convenient location between the N2 and De Waal Drive means that families can access schools in the City Bowl and Southern Suburbs, as well as the University of Cape Town, with ease.  They also offer exceptional views from many properties. 
James and Conway say Walmer Estate has many long-term residents, some of them having grown up in the area and moved away as young adults, only to return once they are starting to raise their own families.  Many homes have been extensively upgraded and extended to maximise the ocean views, and the suburb includes several sizable homes with multiple bedrooms, ideal for an extended family or for those wishing to rent out a portion of their property.  Prices range from around R1 million up to R4 million, depending on size and views.  PGP recently sold a seven-bedroomed home in the area for R2.8 million.
University Estate attracts slightly higher prices, and many homes have superb views of Table Bay, while virtually every home in the suburb enjoys mountain views.  There are still a number of older homes in this area which have enormous potential for extension and renovation, but stock is short and sells very quickly if correctly priced.  Most properties are priced over R2 million, with average prices for the area standing at around R3 million, and top-end homes attracting close to R5 million.  PGP sold a three-bedroomed home in this suburb for R2.6 million in June 2013.

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