Popular Atlantic seaboard rides a wave of solid sales
IT’S BEEN a rip-roaring past few months for estate agents working in Cape Town’s Atlantic seaboard suburbs, with buyers flocking to take advantage of good pricing.
“ We ’ v e g o n e s t r a i g h t f r o m f a mi n e t o f e a s t , ” s ay s Ro b S t e - fanutto, principal of Sotheby’s International Realty Atlantic seaboard. “Indeed, our turnover in the third quarter of 2009 was equivalent to that in the whole of the previous year, and the months since then have been equally busy – even December, which is traditionally rather a quiet month for us.”
He said most buyers in this period were from Gauteng, although sales have also been made to British, Israeli, German, French and Italian investors.
The most popular purchases have been apartments and townhouses, and available stock has diminished to such an extent that they are now selling very competitively at just five or six percent below the listed price, and new developments are being snapped up, mostly by Gauteng buyers.
However, Stefanutto said it was interesting that neither price nor the prospect of rental demand during the World Cup has been the primary motivator in many of the decisions to buy.
“Mostly, buyers just want to own property on the Atlantic seaboard because it is one of the world’s most desirable locations. And many recent buyers have told us they saw the property downturn and the ensuing drop in prices as their chance to do just that, then waited until it bottomed out before jumping in, believing as we do that the area is bound to be one of the best perfor mers in the next property upturn.”
Stefanutto said that price was still playing an important role at the top end of the market, with buyers delighted to find that many sellers were willing to consider offers well below the list price just to get the deal done.
“This price flexibility is mostly coming from foreign owners who bought when the exchange rate was R12 to the dollar and they still stand to make 40-50 percent gains now that the rand is stronger, even if they lower their price.
“Most want to liquidate capital to refinance businesses abroad or simply to pay off debt.”
CURRENT ATTRACTION: Highest demand on the Atlantic seaboard at the moment is for seafront properties, such as this Bantry Bay townhouse, available through Sotheby’s International Realty at R8.1m.