Clare­mont prop­erty val­ues have dou­bled in five years

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

IT SEEMS buy­ers can­not re­ally go too far wrong in Clare­mont un­less they hope­lessly over­pay for a prop­erty.

The sub­urb is a def­i­nite keeper when it comes to prop­erty and most res­i­dents agree, with more than half of all prop­er­ties stay­ing in the same hands for more than 10 years.

That is ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Light­stone data which also shows that buy­ers and in­vestors have seen ex­cel­lent re­wards with the av­er­age prop­erty val­ues dou­bling in just five years.

Smart buy­ers are get­ting into the mar­ket here, up­grad­ing and some are now sell­ing at a hand­some profit.

Sean Guy and Belinda Keys, Se­eff ’s sec­tional-ti­tle agents for the area, say that Clare­mont ranks among the most sought af­ter and dy­namic prop­erty mar­kets in the city.

“Al­though many ar­eas are be­gin­ning to ex­pe­ri­ence a slow­down in prop­erty sales, buy­ers just keep flock­ing to Clare­mont. A short­age of stock is the most sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge here right now,” they say.

“This is the time of year when stu­dent hous­ing en­quiries pick up no­tably as do en­quiries from young pro­fes­sion­als look­ing for a foothold in the hous­ing mar­ket. How­ever, we are head­ing into the busy sum­mer sea­son faced with a short­age of prop­er­ties to meet the de­mand for apart­ments es­pe­cially.”

The agents be­lieve that Clare­mont has been one of the bet­ter per­form­ers for buy­ers and in­vestors. Part of the at­trac­tion is the good mix of sec­tional ti­tle and free­hold prop­erty op­tions. Prices too still tend to range from slightly more af­ford­able, gen­er­ally older prop­er­ties, priced at around R1.5 mil­lion to R2.5m to trendy homes with lux­ury fin­ishes, now priced to around R10m.

Prop­erty val­ues have been grow­ing at a healthy 5 per­cent­plus above in­fla­tion and by about 20 per­cent on av­er­age over the last two years ac­cord­ing to the lat­est Light­stone data.

“In 2010, the av­er­age sec­tional- ti­tle price was just R820 000 and for free­hold prop­erty, about R1.8m. To­day, the av­er­age price for sec­tional ti­tles is around R1.3m and R3.2m for free­hold prop­erty. In re­al­ity though, a two-bed­room apart­ment in the more ex­pen­sive parts of the sub­urb now sells for about R2m on av­er­age.

“The av­er­age rate that buy­ers are pay­ing a square me­tre for a flat in the area is now about R23 000, but this ranges to R30 000/m² in the de­sir­able blocks such as The Her­schel and the Intaba,” say the agents.

They say the av­er­age prices paid in Clare­mont are up yearon-year by about 18 per­cent for sec­tional ti­tle and 28 per­cent for free­hold prop­erty based on the com­par­a­tive sales data recorded on Prop­stats.

Older prop­er­ties are fast be­ing snapped up and ren­o­vated and, ac­cord­ing to Guy and Keys, are of­ten resold at a hand­some profit. A two-bed­room pent­house in Ever­s­ley in Grove Av­enue was bought in May last year for R1.6m. The owner car­ried out ren­o­va­tions in­clud­ing show­cas­ing the mag­nif­i­cent moun­tain views from vir­tu­ally ev­ery win­dow and the agents re­cently resold the apart­ment for R3.25m/

“It is still very much a sell­ers’ mar­ket in Clare­mont and most sell­ers are still see­ing of­fers of well within 5 per­cent of their list­ing prices. About half of sales are now tak­ing place for just about or at the full list­ing price,” say Guy and Keys.

Clare­mont is quite densely pop­u­lated with about 12 000 res­i­dents in ad­di­tion to those who com­mute to the sub­urb daily for work and shop­ping.

Close by are land­marks such as New­lands rugby and cricket sta­di­ums and Kelvin Grove Coun­try Club. Clare­mont is also one of the main school-belt sub­urbs and is on the UCT Jammie Shut­tle route, so it’s a pop­u­lar choice for stu­dent ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Guy and Keys say sec­tion­alti­tle prop­er­ties are par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar and well-priced homes sell quite quickly, es­pe­cially those with se­cu­rity and park­ing.

Al­though there are still older apart­ments at around R1m, most apart­ments are now sell­ing from R1.5m for one-bed­room units and R1.8m for two bed­rooms. Lux­ury new de­vel­op­ments though are sell­ing for R1.8m to around R4m in com­plexes with fa­cil­i­ties such as park­ing, a gym and a swim­ming pool. This year, about 80 sec­tional-ti­tle prop­er­ties worth just over R130m have al­ready been sold in the sub­urb. About a third of all sales have been prop­er­ties priced at over R2m.

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