Consider the Somerset West area for property buys

Many regions of the Western Cape are experiencing a buyers’ market right now and Somerset West is no exception, say Werner Klein and Jeremy Maycock, the agents in this area.

“There is a large selection of homes on the market, whether buyers are looking for homes in estates or sectional title complexes, to freehold property. This market has possibly also been advanced by the many developments that have recently come on stream,” say the agents.

“With the variety of properties on the market at present, those looking to buy now will stand a good chance of finding exactly what they want in Somerset West – whether average or upper bracket homes.”

In addition to Somerset West’s ideal location – not far away from airport and Cape Town and close to the beautiful beaches of Strand at False Bay and right at the gates of the Winelands – it also offers many higher-priced properties on the slopes of the Helderberg, ideal for guest house or bed and breakfast businesses as these have breathtaking views of the entire False Bay from the Cape to Hangklip.

Areas such as Boskloof or Spanish Farm are among the most expensive locations in SA, says Klein. House prices of over R25 million are quite common here. Attractions in this area are wine farms such as Vergelegen, Lourensford and Waterkloof, as well as the Helderberg Nature Reserve and the Erinvale golf course.

A recent Lightstone report corroborates what Klein is saying regarding average property prices, and lists the average home in estates’ house price at R3.283 million, with the average sectional title apartment price being R1.453m. The freehold home average price is slightly lower than that of a home in an estate, at R2.959m.

“In most cases where the property is in good condition and well-priced, there has been no problem selling homes at under R3m (for three bedrooms and two bathrooms) or apartments up to R1.5m (two bedrooms), as properties such as these are in demand and do not stay on the market for long,” says Maycock.

“There is, however, the age-old problem of sellers’ expectations regarding the prices of their properties.  Many aim too high, which makes a quick sale difficult. Although the median value of freehold property has increased steadily over the last 10 years, with the median price in 2017 listed at R2.6m, almost doubling since 2007, this does not mean that the growth will continue at the same pace, and sellers need to bear this in mind when pricing their home for sale,” says Klein.

There are four main trends agents are seeing in the property market in the Somerset West area, some of which are typical of other areas but it is interesting to note that there is an additional phenomenon here, that of emigration.

Many foreign owners (swallows) bought their homes in the 90s and now for many reasons – age, long flights, no interest of the children – are choosing to sell up and go back to their country of origin. There is another factor, too, which is a serious one, and could affect property in Cape Town for a good few years to come, says Klein, and that is the water crisis.

“The usual reasons for selling or buying would be: downscaling with life stage (retirement); change in family structure; relocation within SA (families from the north with children are looking especially in Somerset West because of good and extensive offer of schools); and/or upgrading (when the first-time buyers are moving into a bigger home).

“These patterns will always be prevalent in many areas, but buyers have a particularly strong position now, and it would be a wise move to seriously consider this area when looking for a home,” says Maycock.