Harfield Vil­lage and Ke­nil­worth, com­ple­men­tary neigh­bour­hoods

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

ALTHOUGH in­vest­ment in­ter­est in trendy, pic­turesque Harfield Vil­lage has not waned this year, a slow­down in the num­ber of sales in­di­cates buy­ers are look­ing at the mar­ket more care­fully and in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether they might de­rive more value in sur­round­ing suburbs.

Com­pris­ing 80 per­cent sin­gle ti­tle prop­er­ties and renowned for its quaint his­toric cot­tages, quiet leafy streets and vi­brant busi­ness hub, this pop­u­lar south­ern suburbs en­clave has en­joyed a buoy­ant mar­ket over the past six years, with the av­er­age sale price of houses in­creas­ing steadily since 2010.

Ce­cile Leck, of Lew Gef­fen Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty in Harfield Vil­lage and Ke­nil­worth, says: “The mar­ket re­cov­ered very quickly from the 2008 crash and by 2010 the av­er­age house price was back to its pre­vi­ous high of R1.4 mil­lion.

“Prop­erty val­ues con­tin­ued on their up­ward tra­jec­tory and by 2013 the av­er­age house price had risen to R1.7m, jump­ing to R2.3m in 2015 and, de­spite marginally lower sales this year, the av­er­age house price at the end of the sec­ond quar­ter of 2016 was R2.64m.”

“Between July 2015 and June 2016, 42 free­hold prop­er­ties were sold with two be­ing at the lower end of the mar­ket at an av­er­age sale price of R1.3m, 35 in the mid-mar­ket R1.5m to R3m price band, and five were sold for more than R3m.

“How­ever, dur­ing the past three months only nine sin­gle ti­tle homes were sold, eight of which were in the mid­dle mar­ket and one in the up­per R3m plus seg­ment.”

The same pat­tern can be seen in the sec­tional ti­tle mar­ket with nine sales in the pre­ced­ing year but only one sale dur­ing the past three months, although Leck says that at the lower end of the mar­ket, homes priced below R1.5m are still sell­ing well.

But, de­spite the dip in sales the sub­urb has fared bet­ter than many other ar­eas which also saw a cor­re­spond­ing de­cline in prop­erty val­ues, and Leck’s part­ner, Dave Burger, be­lieves that one of the main rea­sons for this is the sub­urb’s ap­peal fac­tors, its sense of com­mu­nity and vil­lage at­mos­phere.

“Res­i­dents love the fact that they can just stroll down the road to meet friends for cof­fee or en­joy a meal at one of sev­eral restau­rants.

“Young in­vestors and first time buy­ers are in­creas­ingly at­tracted by the vi­brant at­mos­phere and the fact that all the es­sen­tial ameni­ties are right on their doorstep, while ev­ery­thing else they may need is just a five minute drive away in neigh­bour­ing Clare­mont.”

But, with en­try level prices start­ing at around R1.4m for a rare two-bed­room apart­ment and R2.3 for a town­house or two- bed­room cot­tage, many first time buy­ers can’t af­ford to buy in the vil­lage, es­pe­cially now that banks are clamp­ing down on lend­ing and many are tight­en­ing de­posit cri­te­ria.

Lew Gef­fen says that th­ese in­vestors are now look­ing to ad­ja­cent Ke­nil­worth where they can en­ter the mar­ket for un­der R1m and still en­joy easy ac­cess to the ameni­ties and trendy so­cial node in Harfield Vil­lage.

“In Ke­nil­worth more than 60 per­cent of the homes are sec­tional ti­tle, with an en­try level prices of around R900 000. Sales vol­umes in Ke­nil­worth have also taken a dip in re­cent months, although the lower end of the mar­ket re­mains ac­tive.

“A to­tal of 362 apart­ments were sold between July 2015 and June this year, while only 62 were sold in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2016.

“The de­cline in sales is more ob­vi­ous in the mid­dle and up­per mar­kets. In the pre­ced­ing 12 months; there were 186 sales in the R800 000 to R1.5m bracket, 113 sales in the R1.5m to R3m price band and 14 apart­ments were sold for more than R3m.

“But dur­ing the past three months, only 29 prop­er­ties were sold for between R800 000 and R1.5m, there were 20 sales in the R1.5m to R3m price band and no apart­ments priced higher than R3m were sold.”

How­ever, Leck and Burger re­main up­beat as both suburbs of­fer many at­trac­tions for buy­ers.

Not only are they near to sev­eral good schools, but Cavendish Square is just around the cor­ner.

This spa­cious two-bed­room apart­ment in a block on Ros­mead Av­enue in Ke­nil­worth has an open plan liv­ing area and gar­den and moun­tain views. On the mar­ket for R1.475 mil­lion, it in­cludes a garage and a park­ing bay.

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