Overall, the Cape Town property market is on a slow but steady path to recovery, with sales in the major metropolitan areas marginally up for the first quarter this year, compared to the first quarter 2011. Some areas, however, turned in sterling performances, says Francois Venter, Director of Jawitz Properties.
One of the biggest winners was the Constantiaberg area, which includes suburbs such as Plumstead, Bergvliet, and Diep River. There, sectional title sales shot up from 14 units last year to 35 this year, an increase of 150%, despite the fact that this area includes Constantia, where sectional title units are virtually non-existent.
Sectional title sales in the Southern Suburbs also improved, with 137 units being sold in the first quarter of this year compared to 112 in the same period last year. Claremont in particular enjoyed an increase from 22 units last year to 31 this year, an increase of 40%, and in Kenilworth, 37 units were sold this quarter compared to 23 in last year, a 60% increase.
Another suburb that experienced a solid increase in sectional title sales was Sea Point, part of the Atlantic Seaboard area. There, 64 units were sold in the first quarter this year, compared to 56 last year.
Venter says that sectional title units valued at or below R1.5 million were the biggest sellers.
Freehold sales were the favourites in the City Bowl, with 49 houses being sold this year compared to 37 in the first quarter of last year, an increase of over 32%. Freehold sales also trumped sectional title sales in the Atlantic Seaboard overall, with 52 houses being sold this year as opposed to 45 last year, an improvement of 15.5%.
“Houses under R3 million were the most popular, with the exception of Camps Bay and Fresnaye, where houses under the R8 million mark were the biggest sellers.”
Venter cautions sellers not to view improved sales in some areas as a signal to increase their asking prices. “We’ve seen little or no improvement in actual prices. Many sellers have been slow to adjust their prices to market realities post the last property boom, and while the sales figures are encouraging, prices continue to be under pressure.”
Jawitz Properties was a relative latecomer to the Western Cape property market, only opening its first office in 2006. Nevertheless, the company now has 24 offices in the province, of which nine were opened last year.