The upswing in both domestic and foreign visitors to the Cape has boosted demand for hospitality property across many areas, especially the Overberg region, says Seeff's managing director for the area, Ian Badenhorst. Our agents report that in addition to an increase in domestic visitors, foreign visitor numbers were up by about 20% over the summer with guest houses and hospitality establishments were once again booked out.
Aside from serving the seasonal tourist trade, the Overberg is popular with weekenders, something that has contributed to the demand for hospitality property, says Badenhorst. Interest ranges from existing guest houses and bed and breakfast establishments to properties ready for conversion to guest houses, curio and art stores to restaurants. Popular hot spots include Caledon, Swellendam, Barrydale, Bredasdorp and the nearby coastal villages of the Cape Agulhas area, Arniston and Struisbaai....
The scenic Tulbagh Valley is now drawing buyers from across the globe, says Seeff agent, Nelia Retief. Surrounded by majestic mountains and with its collection of historic Cape Dutch buildings in Church Street a big draw card, the village has seen a flurry of buyers heading here over the last year. These include foreign buyers, mostly from Europe looking to invest in property and prepared to spend up to R6 million for a farm in the area, says the agent.
About 42 property sales were concluded during the 2013 year including 28 sales to the value of R19,5 million concluded by the agent. Not only is this about 24% better than the 34 odd sales of 2009 when the market turned, but this year is already off to a booming start, says Retief. Seeff alone has already concluded 15 sales to the value of around R8,2 million during the first quarter of this year, she adds.
The decision by the Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Committee to retain the repo rate at 5,5% is a welcome reprieve for the property market and will further boost buyer confidence, says Seeff chairman, Samuel Seeff. For the first time in six years, we can confidently say that housing is in a growth phase and stability right now is more important than ever.
On the back of the continued sluggish economic growth and creeping inflation, a rate hike towards the third or fourth quarter of the year though is probably unavoidable, but Seeff says that for now at least, this decision is good news. Although a rate hike is unlikely to seriously dent the buoyant buyer activity, largely due to the pent-up demand that has been building over the last few years, it will affect the affordable, sub-R1,5 million sector of the market.
The demand for a convenient, compact and secure lifestyle has seen apartment sales and prices across the suburbs of the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl reach a five-year high, says Seeff's managing director for the areas, Ian Slot. The apartment sector of the market here is quite substantial and our sectional title agents have been reporting record levels of demand. Severe stock shortages are now prevalent almost across the board, but especially in high density areas such as Sea Point, Green Point, Mouille Point, the V&A Waterfront, the CBD and City Bowl.
While the build-up in demand over the past three years has been gradual, we have seen a flurry of buyers heading to the apartment market in the last year especially, says Slot. Consequently, apartment sales for the 12-months ending April for the combined Atlantic Seaboard and central city areas surged to about 1,074 sales total value of almost R2,9 billion, says Slot. This is a significant 42% more than the 759 unit sales and 61% more than the Rand-value of just R1,8 billion of the comparative period three years ago (2011/12 period).
Buyers of residential property on the Atlantic Seaboard are getting younger and given that these buyers are likely to trade up in the next few years, this bodes well for the future of the market here, says Seeff's managing director for the areas, Ian Slot. A detailed analysis of the buyer and seller demographics here over the last twelve years, shows a clear shift in the buyer demographics from being overwhelmingly in the 35-plus age group pre-2008 to the 18-35 age group that now makes up about a quarter of all buying here, he says.
Market activity on the Atlantic Seaboard has improved steadily year-on-year from the post-recession hangover lows in 2009, driven by a combination of factors including an increase in buying by the under 35-age group, says Slot. Sales volumes here dipped to just 992 sales to the value of about R4,3 billion in 2008, down by 45% from the 1,795 sales transactions worth almost R8,4 billion in the preceding year. By last year, this had almost doubled since 2008 to 1,962 sales transactions.
A new assisted living retirement village, located within the Goedgevonden Lifestyle Estate in the village of Wolseley that lies between Tulbagh and Ceres has been launched. The development caters for the over fifty buyer demographic and is affordably priced, say Seeff agents, Nelia Retief and Niel Brand. Outright ownership of the units also means that they are an investment that is likely to grow in value given the demand for retirement homes and that they can also be resold at any time. The units can also be rented out.
The development is secure and enjoys stunning views of the Witzenberg Mountains and is located amidst scenic surrounds. It comprises 24 sectional title units of around 40sqm each. Each includes a bedroom with an en-suite bathroom, living room and kitchen. The price, inclusive of all costs is R590,000. A monthly levy of R360 that covers the cost of general maintenance, building insurance and security is also applicable. Medical and frail care assistance is also on hand with three affordably price options available. There is also a top private hospital a short distance away....
Aside from strong demand for residential homes and farms in the scenic Swartland region, there is growing demand for weekend cottages and houses and lifestyle farms, says Seeff's licensee for the area, Simon Mouton. While still somewhat of a lesser known gem, a growing list of activities, tourist routes and festivals is adding to the attraction and boosting buyer interest, he says.
Reached via the N7 in under an hour's drive from the city, the Swartland stretches from the Paardeberg Mountains in the south to the Piketberg Mountain in the north. The stunning landscape of mountains, rhenoster bush (that turns black after the rain, hence the name Swartland (black land)) and rolling wheat and canola fields is a photographer and artist dream landscape.
Just over two thirds of all residential property sales over the last year on the Atlantic Seaboard have been cash deals while more than half of all buyers of property in the CBD and City Bowl have been cash-rich, says Seeff's managing director for the areas, Ian Slot. Despite the still volatile economic conditions, we have seen notable growth in cash buyers over the last three years. In the last year alone, cash buying increased by over 10% in some areas and price bands as buyer confidence in property as a preferred investment grows, he adds.
Of the total of 3,785 sales transactions across the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl over the last three years, almost 60% (about 2,217 sales) - or two out of every three transactions - were cash deals, advises Slot. For the year ending March, about 68% (of the 768 sales) on the Atlantic Seaboard and 53% (of the 691 sales) across the CBD and City Bowl were cash transactions. This has resulted in a total direct cash inflow into the property market here of over R4,2 billion, says Slot.
An exciting new residential development,Flamingo Bay, located in the Middlevlei Nature Reserve and Bird Sanctuary that is nestled between the sea and Bot River Lagoon has been launched. Overlooked by the majestic Kogelberg Mountain Range and with the lagoon and miles of unspoilt beaches, it is one of the most scenic settings that will especially appeal to nature lovers, say Seeff agent, Linda Woolnough and associate Corlia Smuts.
Middlevlei Estate and the nearby village of Fisherhaven (also on the banks of the Bot River Lagoon) have been somewhat hidden gems for residential and holiday buyers, but we have in the last year seen growing interest in property here. This has largely been driven by the fact that the value on offer is still quite unmatched compared to other coastal areas around the popular Hermanus area. This new development, Flamingo Bay is a welcome addition and is set to further boost the area's popularity, say the agents
Farms around the Franschhoek/Paarl Valley are back on the investment radar of local, upcountry and foreign buyers looking to secure a sought-after property in this scenic and fertile valley, says Seeff Franschhoek agent, Elza Oberholzer. Interest is once again coming from across the board with anything from small lifestyle plots to larger lifestyle farms and commercial wine and olive farms back in demand, says the agent.
Aside from the commercial and hospitality development opportunities available to buyers, many choose to simply opt for a lifestyle farm for residential purposes in their search for a tranquil country lifestyle, yet within close proximity of the city, she says. Others are looking to develop either a small commercial operation or tourism product with cottages for supplemental income.