Ex­cel­lent sales over fes­tive sea­son

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

DE­CEM­BER is al­ways an un­pre­dictable month for prop­erty mar­ket ac­tiv­ity, par­tic­u­larly in the West­ern Cape, where buy­ers are of­ten dis­tracted by the com­bined ef­fects of the fes­tive at­mos­phere, beau­ti­ful beach­go­ing weather and pend­ing hol­i­days.

Af­ter a tough 2009, pre­dic­tions for the pe­riod were con­ser­va­tive at best. But Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties’ MD for the West­ern Cape metro re­gion, Lau­rie Wener, re­ports that De­cem­ber was a sur­pris­ingly busy month for PGP agents.

“There was a wel­come up­turn in mar­ket sen­ti­ment and sales mo­men­tum dur­ing Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber,” says Wener, “but it was never a given that this would be sus­tained dur­ing De­cem­ber and Jan­uary. There were con­cerns that buy­ers would lose in­ter­est over the hol­i­day pe­riod, but th­ese turned out to be un­founded. Ac­tiv­ity per­sisted through­out the fes­tive sea­son, with sales be­ing re­ported right up to and in­clud­ing De­cem­ber 24, and agents re­port­ing buyer re­sponse and view­ings over and even on the hol­i­days in some ar­eas. This was par­tic­u­larly no­tice­able in the At­lantic seaboard and city bowl.”

She says PGP recorded two record-break­ing sales dur­ing this pe­riod. In De­cem­ber, Bish­op­scourt area spe­cial­ist Myrna Du­veen recorded the high­est price ever for a res­i­den­tial prop­erty in the sub­urb, when she sold a home to a South African buyer for R40 mil­lion. This broke the pre­vi­ous area records of R27m and R33.5m, both set by Myrna in Novem­ber 2007. This lat­est record-break­ing three-year-old home is a sub­stan­tial clas­sic Ge­or­gian-style home on 4 000m2 of land­scaped grounds, with su­perb views.

An­other record was set in Jan­uary, when P G P ’ s a r e a ma n a g e r f o r t h e A t l a n t i c seaboard and City Bowl, Basil Mo­raitis, sold two ad­ja­cent va­cant stands in Bantry Bay, zoned as sin­gle res­i­den­tial, for R36.5m, also to a lo­cal buyer.

The two el­e­vated po­si­tion stands mea­sure 2 800m2 and have sea and moun­tain views to the north over Robben Is­land, and views of Clifton and the Twelve Apos­tles to the west and south. The pre­vi­ous high­est price paid for va­cant land in the sub­urb was R19 mil­lion, in March 2009, for two ad­ja­cent va­cant er­ven in De Wet Road mea­sur­ing 1 292m2.

Mo­raitis also sold a prime prop­erty in Bantry Bay to an­other lo­cal buyer dur­ing De­cem­ber. The home, re­quir­ing ma­jor ren­o­va­tions, was sold for R12.85m af­ter spending three years on the mar­ket. Mean­while PGP’s Camps Bay branch con­cluded sales to­talling over R34m in the same month. Th­ese in­cluded a 600m2 lux­ury sec­tional ti­tle flat with ex­pan­sive sea frontage, within walk­ing dis­tance of the beach, which was sold for R18.24m by Bar­bara Rogers.

In Llan­dudno, PGP agent Sue O’Molony sold a prop­erty for R18m – her sec­ond sale at this price in that sub­urb dur­ing 2009.

“Our turnover dur­ing 2009 was sus­tained largely by good trad­ing in the rel­a­tively re­ces­sion-re­sis­tant lux­ury end of the mar­ket,” says Wener.

“How­ever, from Novem­ber to mid-Jan­uary there has been a marked in­crease in sales ac­tiv­ity across all price bands, with ex­cel­lent sales in the lower-and mid­dle price brack­ets.

“PGP’s Wester n Cape metro re­gion re­ported an in­crease of 71 per­cent in sales turnover for Novem­ber and De­cem­ber 2009, com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2008, de­spite a mar­ginal 2 per­cent de­crease in av­er­age prop­erty prices. This is surely an in­di­ca­tion of the re­sump­tion of move­ment in the lower price brack­ets.”

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