Buy­ers love to be be­side the sea­side

Prop­erty sales at Cape Town’s iconic V&A Wa­ter­front are re­liant on strong re­tail sales, writes Anna-marie Smith

Business Day - Home Front - - HOME FRONT -

SEV­ERAL fac­tors lie at the core of lo­cal and global in­vestor con­fi­dence at the Vic­to­ria & Al­fred Wa­ter­front — such as ex­cep­tion­ally strong re­tail sales dur­ing the past six months, show­ing growth at 18% as re­ported by Statis­tics SA.

In­vestors are lured by con­stant growth in re­tail trad­ing, solid prop­erty man­age­ment, a good ten­ant mix, low va­cancy rates and long-term cap­i­tal growth. Res­i­dents are as­sured of pri­vacy and se­cu­rity, con­ve­nient ac­cess to re­tail and en­ter­tain­ment fa­cil­i­ties amid spec­tac­u­lar sur­round­ings.

This unique lo­ca­tion as­sures ten­ants of high foot traf­fic, and vis­i­tors in ex­cess of 23-mil­lion per an­num, 60% of which are South Africans. Com­mer­cial prop­erty in­dus­try leader Growth­point Properties’ in­vest­ment into this mixed-use de­vel­op­ment of a 50% own­er­ship to­tals about R4.9bn, where ten­ants range from re­tail op­er­a­tors oc­cu­py­ing more than 450 up­mar­ket stores, 10 ho­tels with four- to six-star rat­ings, am­ple A-Grade of­fice space, as well as in­dus­trial sites.

Res­i­den­tial ten­ants, own­ers and hol­i­day mak­ers en­joy an ex­clu­sive life­style, in a com­bi­na­tion of properties rang­ing from pent­houses, to two, three bed­room and stu­dio apart­ments.

Real es­tate pro­fes­sion­als are not­ing var­i­ous prop­erty trends re­lated to de­mand for dif­fer­ent prod­ucts. Basil Mo­raitis, Pam Gold­ing Properties’ area man­ager for the At­lantic Seaboard, says: “Pam Gold­ing Properties has no­ticed steady de­mand in the V&A Ma­rina for in­vest­ment prop- erty by non-res­i­dent buy­ers. There has also been a con­sid­er­able in­crease in the num­ber of in­ter­na­tional buy­ers se­cur­ing in­vest­ments in this sought-af­ter se­cure precinct, and buy­ers from KwaZulu-Na­tal and Gaut­eng also con­tinue to be ac­tive in this mar­ket.”

Mo­raitis says while the front row of the Ma­rina, com­pris­ing apart­ments on the wa­ter’s edge with views across the yacht basin, has al­ways been the most soughtafter po­si­tion for V&A buy­ers, Pam Gold­ing Properties has re­cently ex­pe­ri­enced in­creas­ing de­mand from buy­ers for apart­ments lo­cated ex­clu­sively on the canals. An ex­am­ple, he says, was a re­cent sale con­cluded for R25m to an in­ter­na­tional buyer who in­sisted on view­ing pent­house apart­ments only on the canals.

“In line with this trend, we are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing strong de­mand for all apart­ment types, start­ing from about R4m for stu­dios and onebed­room apart­ments, up to R70m for su­per-lux­ury pent­house apart­ments,” he says.

Se­eff At­lantic Seaboard MD, Ian Slot, says the V&A Wa­ter­front is the coun­try’s best prop­erty suc­cess story, hav­ing de­liv­ered ex­cep­tional cap­i­tal appreciations of well over 20% per an­num on the re­sale of properties bought off-plan. He says: “The most pop­u­lar rea­son for rent­ing or buy­ing at the V&A re­lates to the al­lure of waterside liv­ing, as well as the ex­clu­sive and se­cure/pri­vate na­ture of the properties and the fact that the lo­ca­tion de­liv­ers on the sta­tus fac­tor.”

He says it at­tracts up­per in­come buy­ers and ten­ants in­clud­ing celebri­ties and jet­set­ters pre- pared to pay a pre­mium of up to 40% to live or own prop­erty there. Slot says this lo­ca­tion is also pop­u­lar with for­eign buy­ers from the UK, Europe and in­creas­ingly with African buy­ers, such as a buyer from Africa who paid R55m for a One & Only pent­house.

On­go­ing sales ac­tiv­ity, al­beit at re­duced prices com­pared to list­ing prices, dur­ing the past six months shows the con­clu­sion of 17 res­i­den­tial prop­erty sales.

A Prop­Stats re­port gen­er­ated for IEASA states the aver­age list­ing price of the 17 properties sold dur­ing the past six months at R12.569m, with the aver­age sales price achieved at R11.246m. The re­port also shows a 10% aver­age dif­fer­ence be­tween list­ing amount and price fetched, and 292 as the aver­age num­ber of days a prop­erty spends on the mar­ket.

When it comes to long-term re­sale value and re­duced sales prices, Bill Raw­son, chair­man of Raw­son Prop­erty Group, urges cau­tion to the ques­tion of whether the mar­ket can ex­pect a re­vival in top prices in ex­cess of R20m. He says while there is now ev­i­dence that prices in up­per level prop­erty are be­gin­ning to sta­bilise, buy­ing ac­tiv­ity at this level is still min­i­mal, with no signs of price im­prove­ments in the up­per brack­ets as yet. He says a re­cent ex­am­ple of the dras­tic drops which have taken place is an apart­ment in the V&A Wa­ter­front, cur­rently on the mar­ket at R3.95m, sold only six years ago for R7.5m.

He be­lieves high priced prop­erty pur­chases should be made as a life­style de­ci­sion, rather than for short-term profit.

TOURISM Pic­ture: SA

A view of Cape Town’s Vic­to­ria & Al­fred Wa­ter­front.

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