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Thursday Feb 16, 2017

Average property prices on Cape Town's Atlantic Seaboard increased by 27%

Despite a tough economic climate, Cape Town's Atlantic Seaboard's luxury property market has shown a slight improvement, while sales in the sectional title market improved significantly in the last year or so, say estate agents operating in the area.

Edith Marsh, a veteran area specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty, said the economic crunch had trickled through to the more resilient exclusive markets like Camps Bay, where changing buyer appetites had precipitated a notable market shift and sales volumes were down, but property values had shown enormous growth.

"We have definitely noticed changes in the market during the past eight months, especially with luxury properties at the top end taking a little longer to sell while we can't meet demand for entry-level homes under R10 million."

Marsh said, however, that one aspect the slump hadn't affected was the strident growth in property values, with average house prices in the suburb increasing by 27% between 2015 and last year, from R12.5 million to R15.9m.

Lew Geffen, the chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty, said another market shift last year was the change in the time properties spent on the market, especially homes in the entry and middle brackets.

"Between 2014 and 2015, there was very little change in the time it took to sell properties, with houses and apartments remaining on the market for around 155 and 182 days respectively during both years. However, there was a marked difference last year with the average for houses being 130 days on the market and, on average, flats sold within 113 days. Most notable is that, almost without exception, both apartments and houses priced under R10m sold within a month, and some even in a matter of days."

Billy Rautenbach, a sales director for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard, said the area's property market ended last year with a surprise uptick in overall activity to the previous year. Rautenbach said that according to the latest Propstats data the Atlantic Seaboard market ended the year with overall activity up by 6% in unit terms with 709 units sold compared to 669 in 2015 and 10% in value terms with 2016 sales of just more than R5.5 billion compared to R5bn in 2015.

She said the lower priced band market homes dropped to just 30 days for properties below R5m and 37 days below R10m.

"The biggest movement in the full title sector was the average sales price that increased by 16% from just over R12.6m in 2015 to R14.6m."

Rautenbach said at the top R20m-plus sector of the market, about 24 sales were concluded at an average price of just under R32m and with five properties sold above the R40m price mark.

Basil Moraitis, Pam Golding Properties' area manager for the Atlantic Seaboard, said a recent R9.7m cash sale of a luxury apartment in South Seas, Mouille Point, had established a new record for the area, pointing to the escalating demand for sectional title properties.

"The buoyancy of the Atlantic Seaboard property market comes down to simple economics, the perennial demand for seafront properties and concomitant stock shortages means that property prices will remain robust."

Cape Argus

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