Good value and returns still to be had in Cape Town’s southern suburbs

Good value and returns still to be had in Cape Town’s southern suburbs

AFFORDABLE ELEGANCE: Buyers who know where to look will still find gems in the southern suburbs like this spacious renovated three-bedroom home in Claremont which was recently sold for R3.8 million.

After four years of unprecedented growth fuelled by semigration, the southern suburbs market faced a number of challenges in 2017, including dwindling affordability and a marked slowing in house price growth with many sellers forced to lower their prices to secure a sale.

However, not all markets fared equally and there were a handful of nodes like Lynfrae in Claremont which proved far more resilient than many of their more prominent neighbours with continued growth and strong market activity.

According to Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s international Realty, this is largely due to the fact that conveniently situated Lynfrae offers good value within in a high-value zone, with residents enjoying the same access to an array of world-class amenities.

“The suburb’s growing appeal is clearly evidenced by its solid performance in 2017. While the strongest markets were progressively yielding to the growing pressure of the prevailing economy and political uncertainty, Lynfrae experienced a spike in sales volumes as well as in the average house price.

“Analysis of Propstats data reveals that a total of 10 houses with a combined value of R36.33 million changed hands in 2016 at an average sale price of R3.63m. However, last year 18 house sales realised a total of R75.1m with a 14% increase in the average selling price which, at R4.17m, was only 4.6% below the listed prices compared to 7.3% the year before.”

He adds that 15 of these transactions were in the R3m to R4.3m price band, with the lowest sale price achieved being R3.2m for a well-maintained three-bedroom home and the highest was R5.945m for a spacious five-bedroom house on a generous 736m² stand.

Cecile Leck and Sally Ross, area specialists for the group say: “These results were achieved by strong performance up to the end of the third quarter when the market did start to slow, largely because buyer and seller sentiment became increasingly cautious as the ANC’s NEC scheduled December conference drew nearer.

“And, although the market hasn’t quite bounced back yet, there are positive signs of revival. By the end of the first quarter this year, the average house price in Lynfrae had risen by 3.8% to R4.33m with six confirmed sales in March alone ranging in price from R2,85m R5.46m.

“We have noticed an increasing number of prospective buyers at show houses since the beginning of the year and a perceptibly more positive buyer sentiment.”

Leck adds that that the adjacent Claremont sub-suburb known as Below Belvedere also continued to offer buyers value and sellers excellent returns last year with the average house price growing by almost 14% from R2.8m to R3.19m, although sales volumes were a little lower.

“However, these markets weren’t completely immune,” says Leck. “as we did see a notable drop in demand and sales in the upper brackets and, like most other areas, accurate pricing was critical in all segments as overpriced properties remained on the market for up to seven months, only selling once the price had been reduced.”

Leck says that investment value is not the only reason these suburbs are attracting growing buyer interest.

“Lynfrae is very well served by the Claremont CBD and is within easy reach of Rondebosch Boys’ junior and senior schools, Rustenburg Girls’ junior and senior schools, Oakhurst Girls’ School, Bishops boys’ school and SACS boy’s junior and senior schools.

“Residents are also within walking distance of a number of popular sporting facilities such as Newlands cricket and rugby grounds, Western Province Cricket Club and Villagers’ Rugby Club. There is also a great selection of small local shopping centres, including Palmyra Junction and Belvedere Square, as well as easy access to larger malls such as Kenilworth Centre and Cavendish Square.”