Less is more now for many Cape Town property buyers

There is currently high demand for compact apartments and townhouses or homes on smaller, manageable properties in secure surroundings in Cape Town's southern suburbs.

This Plumstead home was recently sold by RealNet Southern Suburbs for R2,895m, which is a record for the area.
A case in point, says Geoff Stroebel, owner of the RealNet Southern Suburbs franchise, is the three duplexes in a complex in central Kenilworth that his office sold at an average price of R1,25m within four weeks, with the first apartment selling on the listing day.
"The cost of running and maintaining a large estate or home is becoming prohibitive and security is always an issue. There consequently seems to be a tendency to downscale, and the result is that in the upmarket suburbs of Constantia and Bishopscourt alone there are currently about 120large properties on the market at the moment with prices ranging from R5m to R20m," he says.
Current market conditions dictate that the bulk of the sales taking place in his franchise area, which extends from Rondebosch to Dreyersdal, are in the R1m to R2m price range, Stroebel notes. "Banks are offering 100% mortgage loans up to R1,5m, and we are finding that as far as affordability is concerned, the middle-income group fits right into this bracket as prospective buyers need disposable income of around R17500 to qualify for a bond of R1,5m.

This home in Bergvliet was recently sold in record time by RealNet Southern Suburbs for R1,35m.
"However, there is very little stock coming onto the market at this level. And the current shortage is being compounded by the Cape winter months when sellers tend to hunker down - but sellers at this level should take note that the lack of stock has had the desired effect of pushing up prices, and there are currently buyers a-plenty out there."
Always popular - and in very short supply - are flats and apartments close to the University of Cape Town and educational hub of Rondebosch where record prices are being achieved. For instance, an 80sqm two-bedroom unit in Rosebank was recently sold by RealNet Southern Suburbs for R1m, he says.
"Indeed,some up-market one-bedroom apartments in central Claremont are changing hands at prices of more than R2m. There is, however, still a good market for family homes in the R2m to R5m range and we recently achieved top dollar for the seller of a large home in Plumstead at R2,895m." (See photo)
Stroebel, whose franchise recently moved to new premises in Constantia Main Road in Plumstead, says the most crucial element in the current economic environment is accurate valuation and pricing. "Unfortunately, there is still a tendency in the industry for some agents to overprice properties in order to secure mandates.
“RealNet Southern Suburbs, however, is fast gaining a reputation for providing highly accurate market-related valuations, combined with completely honest feedback to sellers as to the saleability of their property in this fickle market." 

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