Still fetch­ing top dol­lar

Financial Mail - Investors Monthly - - Opening Bell - Prop­erty In­vest­ment edited by Joan Muller

Cape Town’s hous­ing mar­ket has started to slow, in line with those of other ma­jor met­ros, as af­ford­abil­ity and wa­ter-short­age is­sues force many would-be buy­ers to put in­vest­ment de­ci­sions on hold.

How­ever, the At­lantic seaboard, ar­guably Africa’s swanki­est stretch of real es­tate, is still notch­ing up record prices. A lux­ury abode si­t­u­ated high on the slopes of Lion’s Head in Clifton re­cently sold for a stag­ger­ing R120m. The sale was clinched by the Do­gon Group, which was also re­spon­si­ble for the record-break­ing 2016 sale of a Bantry Bay home for R290m.

Sea Point — tra­di­tion­ally more af­ford­able than neigh­bour­ing Bantry Bay and Clifton — can also boast a few record sales in the year to date. In early March, a fourbed­room beach-front pent­house apart­ment fetched R32m, the high­est price achieved for a sec­tional ti­tle prop­erty in Sea Point.

Malka Zin­man, sec­tional ti­tle area spe­cial­ist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s In­ter­na­tional Realty, says the pent­house was sold within 24 hours of go­ing to mar­ket. “Con­ve­nience is one of the key rea­sons for the Sea Point beach front’s resur­gence as one of the most sought-af­ter ar­eas on the At­lantic seaboard,” says Zin­man. “The area of­fers an ar­ray of shops and restau­rants, as well as the prom­e­nade and beaches.”

Mean­while, fig­ures from FNB show that house price growth in Cape Town slowed to 10.8% year on year in the fourth quar­ter, down from a peak of 15.7% in mid-2016.

FNB prop­erty strate­gist John Loos says Cape Town’s pop­u­lar­ity among “sem­i­grants” from other parts of SA ap­pears to have dwin­dled some­what. “We had an­tic­i­pated this slow­down on the back of res­i­den­tial prop­erty af­ford­abil­ity is­sues,” he says. “The re­gion’s se­vere drought con­di­tions may also be start­ing to dampen the sen­ti­ment of as­pi­rant sem­i­grants.”

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