Pop­u­lar At­lantic seaboard rides a wave of solid sales

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

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.

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