Excellent sales over festive season
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.”