Wyn­berg of­fers good value in tough times

His­toric sub­urb do­ing well as neigh­bours feel the pinch

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

The eco­nomic down­turn which be­gan to tighten its grip in the lat­ter half of last year has now no­tice­ably fil­tered down to even the most buoy­ant of Cape Town’s res­i­den­tial mar­kets.

But the sil­ver lin­ing is that mar­ket slumps and tight­ened belts give of­ten-un­der­rated sub­urbs, like Wyn­berg, the op­por­tu­nity to shine.

This is ac­cord­ing to Claude McKirby, south­ern sub­urbs co­prin­ci­pal for Lew Gef­fen Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Re­alty, who says value for money un­der­pins the ap­peal of th­ese ar­eas dur­ing tough eco­nomic times. “Wyn­berg’s al­lure is twofold as it of­fers ex­cel­lent value for money in a high value zone where average sale prices in most neigh­bour­ing sub­urbs are con­sid­er­ably higher, as well as a wide va­ri­ety of prop­erty op­tions – from very ac­ces­si­ble entry level homes to lux­u­ri­ous modern prop­er­ties.

“And be­cause of its de­sir­able lo­ca­tion close to a num­ber of top class ameni­ties, in­clud­ing some of South Africa’s best schools, Wyn­berg con­tin­ues to of­fer a solid re­turn on in­vest­ment as homes in this area will always be in de­mand.”

Matthew Raubach of Lew Gef­fen Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Re­alty, says: “In Wyn­berg it’s still pos­si­ble to get a foot in the south­ern sub­urbs mar­ket for well un­der R1 mil­lion with the entry level price be­ing be­tween R500 000 and R800 000 for onebed­room flats, de­pend­ing on lo­ca­tion, con­di­tion and lucky tim­ing.

“In­vestors with big­ger bud­gets have a broad se­lec­tion from which to choose, with the top end of the sec­tional ti­tle mar­ket be­ing just over R2m for a modern, lux­u­ri­ous unit. And, in spite of the cur­rent econ­omy, two months ago we sold a ren­o­vated two-bed­room flat for R2.1m.”

Raubach says that while the sec­tional ti­tle mar­ket hasn’t been com­pletely im­per­vi­ous to the slump with buy­ers show­ing in­creas­ing re­luc­tance to pay the high prices com­manded over the past two years, grow­ing de­mand from first time in­vestors has coun­ter­bal­anced the mar­ginal dip in sale prices.

Agent Jen­nifer Rogers says that although the same cau­tion is be­ing felt in the free­hold hous­ing mar­ket with prop­er­ties tak­ing a lit­tle longer to sell, cor­rectly priced houses con­tinue to at­tract interest.

“With pa­tience it’s still pos­si­ble to find a char­ac­ter twobed­room house for be­tween R1.5m and R2m and a bud­get of R2.5m to R4m will buy a beau­ti­fully ren­o­vated home with the higher priced houses be­ing found in pop­u­lar ar­eas like Chelsea Vil­lage.”

Lew Gef­fen, chair­man of Lew Gef­fen Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Re­alty, says that although the in­creas­ing re­luc­tance of banks to lend money has re­sulted in a 14 per­cent drop in mort­gage ap­provals, the flip side for sub­urbs like Wyn­berg, which main­tain buoy­ancy, is the in­creased interest from as­tute in­vestors who don’t re­quire fi­nance and are able to take ad­van­tage of the de­pressed mar­ket and good value they of­fer.

“In re­cent months there has been a no­table spike in sales to cash buy­ers with avail­able funds as well as ‘empty nesters’ who are down­siz­ing af­ter the sale of their larger fam­ily homes in nearby sub­urbs.”

Gef­fen says that although lo­cals still make up the lion’s share of buy­ers, es­pe­cially in the lower to mid­dle mar­ket, Wyn­berg’s his­tor­i­cal char­ac­ter and charm at­tract con­sid­er­able interest from for­eign buy­ers who are of­ten will­ing to spend more and are keen to au­then­ti­cally re­store her­itage prop­er­ties.

McKirby says that Wyn­berg’s rental mar­ket is also en­joy­ing in­creased ac­tiv­ity due to the ex­cel­lent value and the fact that it of­fers res­i­dents ac­cess to all the top end fa­cil­i­ties en­joyed by its more ex­pen- sive neigh­bours, but at a more rea­son­able price.

“The sub­urb is an ap­peal­ing op­tion for fam­i­lies who are feel­ing the pinch of shrink­ing monthly bud­gets and are bat­tling to keep their heads above wa­ter but are re­luc­tant to sac­ri­fice their cur­rent life­styles.

“The mar­ket is also be­ing spurred by the grow­ing num­ber of po­ten­tial buy­ers who fail to qual­ify for larger bonds and want to re­main in the area while they save for big­ger de­posits.”

They are of­ten mo­ti­vated by the fact that par­ents want to en­sure their chil­dren are ac­cepted into the lo­cal schools which is in­creas­ingly the main con­sid­er­a­tion when buy­ers de­cide where to in­vest.

Raubach says while sec­tional ti­tle prices may have lev­elled off and in­vestor cau­tion has re­sulted in a slight dip in sales vol­umes, Props­tats data has re­vealed that the dif­fer­ence be­tween list­ing and sell­ing prices has con­tin­ued to shrink in the first half of this year, with only a 1.9 per­cent dif­fer­ence com­pared to 5 per­cent last year and 8.2 per­cent in 2013.

And though houses have seen a mi­nus­cule dip in the average sale price since last year when 40 houses changed hands at an average price of R2.42m, Rogers says sales vol­umes have re­mained strong with 19 sales recorded be­tween Jan­uary and June 16 at an average price of R2.29m.

Rogers be­lieves that de­mand for prop­erty in Wyn­berg will re­main strong, as the area of­fers a com­bi­na­tion of ap­peal fac­tors in ad­di­tion to ac­ces­si­ble pric­ing and con­ve­nient lo­ca­tion. “Wyn­berg still has a quaint vil­lage feel with a pro­lif­er­a­tion of his­tor­i­cal build­ings and, at its heart is Chelsea vil­lage which has an ar­ray of eclec­tic shops, cafes and restau­rants.

This im­mac­u­late, ren­o­vated three-bed­room her­itage home in a quiet cul de sac within walk­ing dis­tance of Chelsea Vil­lage is for sale at R5.3 mil­lion.

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