Freehold houses in the City Bowl suburbs are hot property and selling like hotcakes. According to Seeff freehold specialist agents, Michele Apperley and Colette Jackson, the demand is across all price bands.
The demand is so high and the stock levels so tight that almost anything is selling- provided it is not overpriced. The convenience and cosmopolitan lifestyle combined with the excellent capital value growth, has made the area highly desirable, say the agents.
While the bulk of the demand is coming from local, mostly cash buyers, the area now appeals to buyers from across the globe. Aside from upcountry buyers from the greater Johannesburg area, we are now also seeing buyers from the Durban area looking to stake a claim in the City Bowl, often as it is seen as more affordable, yet close to and the same desirable address as the Atlantic Seaboard.
An analysis of the sales recorded on Propstats since the start of 2015, for example, reveals that some 176 freehold properties worth R1,272bn have been sold in the suburbs that stretch from the Bo-Kaap to Zonnebloem/District Six. The average freehold sales price for the period is R7.228m compared to R5.47m in 2014. That is a phenomenal R1.758m and 32% more.
A closer look at the activity for the suburbs show that just over 60% of sales of freehold houses for the period January 2014 to end of April 2016, were above the R5m price mark. Sales in the R10m-plus price band comprised 20% of all sales. It is still a good time for sellers, almost across the board according to the agents. Anything upwards of a smaller home in Gardens, priced around the R3.5 million range to a luxury home in Oranjezicht or Higgovale in the R10m-plus range is in demand.
A key trend is the notable, uptick in luxury sales since December with almost half of the 39 sales above the R10m price band concluded during this period.
There is now almost no land available in the City Bowl, something that Apperley and Jackson say has contributed to the growth in the property values over the last few years. By way of illustration, only two vacant plots sales have been noted since the start of 2015, both in Higgovale. The first, a 635sqm plot sold for R5.2m and the second, a 1951sqm vacant plot sold for R10m.
Oranjezicht is the leader in terms of the highest volume of freehold houses sold with some 47 units sold to the combined value of R405.59m at an average price of R8.63m, almost R1m more compared to 2014 when it was around R7.7m. Most notably, the average time that properties have spent on the market is just six weeks. The highest prices achieved in the City Bowl over the period are also in Oranjezicht at R23m in Chesterfield Road and R18m in Belvedere Avenue.
The second highest number of freehold house sales were in Vredehoek with some 34 units sold to the total value of R154.72m at an average price of R4.55m. This is 23%, or an outstanding R850,000 more than the 2014 average price of R3.7m.
Just over one-third of all sales in Vredehoek were above R5m ranging to a highest price of R9.35m in Exner Avenue and R10.1m in Frank Avenue.
Next is Tamboerskloof with 28 freehold sales worth R235.255m at an average price of R8.4m, over 50% (52%) more than in 2014 when the average was just R5.54m. Ten of the sales were above the R10m price band ranging to a highest price of R15.65m in Kenmore Road, R16.25m in Leeukloof Drive and R18m in Brownlow Road.
Only 2 freehold sales were recorded for Devil’s Peak at an average price of R3m, the only average to come down from 2014 when it was R4.3m.
On the whole, the City Bowl property market remains very active and, contrary to the economic trend, it is still a good time to sell in the area, conclude Apperley and Jackson.