Busy season ahead for Paarl property sales

Paarl’s property market is picking up again after slowing down in the first few months of the year, according to Chris Cilliers, chief executive and principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Winelands.

“Over the past 12 months, the Paarl property market initially fared well despite the economic slump, but the cabinet reshuffle caused some sluggishness,’’ says Cilliers. “The economic and political influences together with the seasonal downturn led to a tough winter, but since August demand has definitely started to pick up again.

“The slowdown was apparent over all market segments. However, agricultural properties seemed to weather the storm and interest in this sector of the market is picking up again now.

“We are looking forward to a busy summer season. There is still plenty of demand from Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal as well as Cape Town’s southern and northern suburbs. In particular, Paarl’s excellent schools attract families at this time of year.”

She says there is strong demand for homes in estates as well as good family homes close to schools. In Northern Paarl, where many reasonably priced homes are being renovated, there has also been a significant increase in interest – and value.

Cilliers says the increase in transfer fees has made many home owners consider renovating instead of selling.

“Some home owners do go this route. However, there are many who are scaling down and moving to more secure areas. Although we are seeing investors renovating homes to sell, the increased costs of buying and selling as well as building materials make it more difficult to turn a property around very quickly.”

Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says that in the traditional suburbs there aren’t many homes priced under R2 million.

“There are several entry level developments where homes are priced from about R750 000, but in the larger, more established estates prices range from about R4m to R5m through to R30m.

“But, as there is still huge demand for estate properties, as long as homes are priced correctly for their condition and location, they are not difficult to move. There are plenty of up country buyers and there is still demand from foreigners, although this often only picks up after September, when the tourist season starts.”

Cilliers says there is currently a shortage of entry level stock on estates such as Val de Vie Estate and Boschenmeer, and the upper end of the market is being driven by demand at Val de Vie, which was recently named South Africa’s best estate for the third year in a row by New World Wealth.

“The current available development stock on Val de Vie Estate has been in great demand and opportunities are running out. However, there have been some entry level developments launched in the town, and we are aware that there are many planning applications in Drakenstein,” says Cilliers.

As far as rentals go, she says there is always strong demand for all rental properties in Paarl, and family homes close to the schools are particularly popular.