Constantia’s laid-back lifestyle and security sees the market on the rise
DRIVEN by demand from upcountry buyers, the residential market in Constantia has remained defiant of the economic downturn, with the gap between listing and selling price as well as time spent on the market being considerably lower during the first six months of 2016 than the same period last year.
This is according to Joanna Thomas of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Constantia, who says: “According to Propstats data the market has remained consistently strong during the past six years, with the average difference between marketed and sale price decreasing yearly. The notable discrepancy of 19 percent in 2010 reduced to 15.1 percent in 2013 and 11.8 percent in 2014; shrinking even further to 9.8 percent by the end of 2015.”
Thomas says there is no doubt that the influx of people into the Cape has boosted demand, with up to 65 percent of all their recent sales being to upcountry buyers.
“Gauteng investors still account for the majority of upcountry buyers but we are fielding an increasing number of queries from KwaZulu-Natal buyers who are also drawn by the suburb’s lower crime rates, better municipal services, proximity to good schools and authentic country lifestyle.”
Thomas says the Lew Geffen team has experienced a flurry of sales in the area over the past six months.
Arnold Maritz, southern suburbs co-principal for Lew Geffen, says the buoyancy is being driven by the very active lower to mid-market segment, relative to the overall pricing in the area.
“Around 80 percent of sales in Constantia ‘Upper’ are properties priced below R13.5m, with the strongest demand being for homes in security estates priced between R6m and R8.5m. There is also growing interest in older freestanding homes in need of renovation which can occasionally still be found for around R7.5m.”
Lew Geffen says there has also been a noticeable rise in the numbers of investors buying property to live in at a later stage, which has resulted in a surge of homes on the rental market.
“Astute investors are realising that it makes sense to buy sooner rather than later as property prices are unlikely to drop in the foreseeable future. And, with property values consistently growing at above inflation rates, buying property in one of the country’s strongest markets is an excellent investment in uncertain socio-economic times.”
Citing Lightstone data, Geffen says the average year-onyear percentage increase in property value in Constantia ‘Upper’ since 2010 equates to almost 8 percent a year over five years, with a sharp spike over the past two years, when the average selling price increased by 15.87 percent between 2013 and 2014, and by 17.1 percent between 2014 and 2015.
Thomas says more than half of properties in Constantia have been owned by the same people continuously for 11 years or longer, a further 15 percent have not transferred ownership for between eight and 10 years.
“There are very few areas in the country which offer the same stability and attractions as Constantia. Residents have the convenience of an established infrastructure and access to first rate amenities.
“Constantia has abundant stretches of protected greenbelt and outdoor enthusiasts are spoilt for choice with many facilities on their doorsteps. There are endless kilometres of biking and hiking trails as well as a number of well- maintained parks.”
Constantia’s trump card, however, is the peace of mind its effective security initiative affords residents.
“Crime has dropped dramatically since the Constantia Crime Watch was formed, with high- tech features such as CCTV cameras and thermal imaging.”