With just four sales for this year, the R20 million-plus super luxury Atlantic Seaboard market has fallen to the lowest level in ten years while new listings are up to about 200 in Clifton, Camps Bay, Fresnaye and Bantry Bay.
With plentiful supply and flat price growth over the last three years, Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group says this sector is presenting one of the best buying opportunities in over a decade.
Whereas the low- to middle-income sectors are seeing a notable uptick in activity on the back of pent-up demand, the top end is heavily influenced by sentiment which is at an all-time low according to the latest RMB/BER Business Confidence Index (BCI).
Ross Levin, managing director for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl says during the boom years of 2016-2017, the market was doing about five sales per month in the R20 million-plus sector with prices reaching R80 million to R120 million in Clifton. Last year’s highest price reached just R60 million in Fresnaye and this year so far, just R34 million in Camps Bay.
With no real price movement in the super prime sector, this is arguably one of the best periods for “bargain hunting” that we have seen in the last decade. Levin adds that there are now many new listings not seen before while sellers are motivated to take lower offers.
The time to invest here is now. He points out that this has been the top performing real estate belt for well over a decade. Property values rose faster than anywhere else and doubled in the five years between 2012-2017 at the peak of the last mini boom.
The location and uncompromised views remain the biggest drawcard. Although it is still early days under Level 3, Levin says there are encouraging trends emerging, in particular a renewed interest from semigration buyers.
Upcountry buyers are considering the Cape Town lifestyle with the mountain and sea as an alternative to emigrating. People are not as restricted by their businesses as we move to a more technological world, and if they need to be at home, they want the mountain and sea on their doorstep.
This, he says further, is where the current high-end interest is coming from and will hopefully drive that market going forward. This is one area where history has shown that if you take a long-term view, you can reap rewards when the market cycle ticks up again.
While we are seeing a high quantum of viewings from the initial pent-up demand, ultimately, he concludes, buyers want value and there is plenty to be had here right now.