Everybody wants a City Bowl house, it’s a sellers’ market, say agents
Freehold houses across the suburbs of the City Bowl are hot property right now according to Seeff agents, Michele Apperley and Talitha Finkay who say that these are now in short supply. The cosmopolitan lifestyle with ‘high streets’ and close communities is now highly sought after, but there is just not enough stock to meet the buyer demand. The oversupply of stock in the City Bowl has largely now been sold and fewer new listings are coming onto the market, add the agents. For an inner-city zone, Cape Town’s City Bowl stands quite apart from other cities in the country and is the only one with such a vibrant CBD and residential area. Everybody now wants to live here. Aside from apartments, freehold houses in particular are highly sought after according to the agents. Buyers are really threefold - locals wanting change, buyers from other suburbs tired of sitting in traffic and Johannesburgers looking for a better lifestyle for their families. People want the convenience of being close to the city and Apperley and Finkay says they are willing to compromise on space. Security too is a big factor especially for upcountry buyers who are prepared to spend more for less space to improve their quality of life. Families are particularly keen on houses with three or more bedrooms and a nice sized garden, preferably with a swimming pool in areas such as Gardens, Tamboerskloof, Oranjezicht and Higgovale. Professionals on the other hand look for more compact houses and smaller plots with areas such as Vredehoek a particular favourite. The trend of buying up older properties and renovating and remodelling them into trendy urban pads is further fuelling the demand according to the agents. The City Bowl is one of the most dynamic property markets in the city and one that has seen massive growth over the last five years according to Ian Slot, managing director for the area. In the last year about 758 sales worth just under R2 billion were recorded at an average sales price of just over R2.5 million; 40% more units and over 60% more in value terms compared to five years ago, he adds. Almost half of the sales were freehold houses that sold at an average price of R4.7 million per property. Despite the still subdued economic conditions, freehold property across the area has grown in value by just over 30% on average over the last five years, he adds. Five years ago, less than 20% of all freehold house sales were above the R5 million price band. In the last year, this rose to almost 40% with eleven sales concluded above the R10 million price mark. While the highest prices paid were R26.5 million for a 280sqm four-bedroomed house in Higgovale and R18 million for a 289sqm house, also with four bedrooms in Tamboerskloof, prices at the top end now in fact range to about R30 million. These two sales have also taken the rate per square metre achieved to R62 284/sqm in the case of the Tamboerskloof sale and R94 643/sqm in the case of the Higgovale sale; both rivalling the rates achieved in the top end Atlantic Seaboard suburbs, says Slot. Higgovale currently ranks as the most expensive of the City Bowl suburbs with an average freehold house price of around R9.3 million. Next is Oranjezicht at around R7.4 million while Tamboerskloof houses go for about R6.4 million on average. Devil’s Peak now commands an average freehold price of around R4 million and just below that, at almost R3.8 million is Vredehoek followed by Gardens at around R2.9 million. Agents, Michael Hauser and Doris Ricketts say that as with the Atlantic Seaboard, the elevation of the area allows for stunning city, mountain and sea views. Here too, space is limited with no further room for growth. Property values are therefore likely to continue growing and will soon rival those of the Atlantic Seaboard suburbs. Residents have everything they need on hand in the immediate vicinity, says Hauser and Ricketts. There are top class schools including St Cyprians and Herzlia along with the German International School (DSK) in Tamboerskloof and a French School (Ecole Francoise le Vaillant) located in Gardens. The Blue-Flag beaches of the Atlantic Seaboard are on the doorstep as is Africa’s most visited tourist attraction, the V&A Waterfront. Aside from the many quaint eateries in and around the city centre, both the Green Point and Sea Point ‘high streets’ are also close by. Old and new lives happily side by side here. The narrow tree-lined lanes that wind through the suburbs are lined with a mix of homes, from Victorian row cottages, priced from around R3.5 million to new-builds with every luxury imaginable that towers above the city with price tags of up to R30 million. For a top end designer home. The demand is almost across the board, with anything from compact houses in Vredehoek priced upwards of R3 million to large homes in Higgovale and Oranjezicht priced to around R15 million which highly sought after according to Hauser and Ricketts. For more information, contact Seeff City Bowl on 021 423 9146 or visit www.seeff.com.