Still basking in the glow of a bumper festive holiday season, with some domestic tourists still in evidence, and the Mother City set to host an influx of international tourists during the forthcoming months from January to April/May, the demand for residential property in Cape Town continues unabated, says Basil Moraitis, regional manager for Pam Golding Properties in the Western Cape.
Says Moraitis: “We’ve experienced a busy festive trading season on the Atlantic Seaboard with sales to the value of R200 million concluded during December (2022) alone, including high-end sales from R20 million upwards.
“The lifestyle and natural scenic beauty of Cape Town, and in particular the prime Atlantic Seaboard coastal strip between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, resonates with home buyers around the country and globally.
“The market post-Covid lockdowns have been driven mainly by primary home buyers and also international buyers looking for a place in the sun during the Northern European winter months. A relatively new trend is for buyers from Finland looking for a bolt-hole far away from the conflicts and war in Eastern Europe. As stock levels reduce, as they have currently, we are starting to see investors returning to the market looking at hospitality products for the Airbnb markets. In fact, we are currently experiencing some of the lowest levels of stock in the Western Cape in a decade.
“Notably, activity is brisk among high-end buyers of luxury homes in the price bracket north of R20 million, with our recent sale of a sumptuous five-bedroom home in Bantry Bay achieving the full asking price of R75 million from a German buyer acquiring his dream holiday home. Newly built and in a prime location, this contemporary, fully-furnished residence combines bright, spacious living areas which flow seamlessly onto an elevated pool deck with panoramic views of the ocean and Table Mountain Nature Reserve. It includes elevator access to all four levels, a fully-equipped media room, gym, sauna, staff suite, and multiple garaging and parking.”
Moraitis says that given its prime location, world-class homes, and exceptional lifestyle, the Atlantic Seaboard consistently attracts a high proportion of cash buyers – not surprising due to its appeal for a more well-resourced, affluent buyer demographic.
“Coupled with this, the topography of many of the prime areas of the Atlantic Seaboard is located in a narrow band of steeply raked view sites along the Atlantic Ocean, which increases the value of the land due to the scarcity factor, and also results in an extremely high cost to construct a dwelling.
“It, therefore, follows that the feasibility of developing and selling these types of properties is dependent on buyers with cash resources who choose to invest in unique luxury or trophy properties offering spectacular views and the lifestyle that goes with it. This is why this segment has always drawn international and upcountry buyers with cash – and increasingly of late, German buyers. The properties which they choose to buy offer them the opportunity to realise their ambitions of owning their own spot alongside other captains of industry and the jet set. Covid has literally turbo-charged this trend with people wanting to live their best lives now and in the place that makes them happiest. International buyers include those who have made the decision to spend more time in Cape Town away from the winter and uncertainty in Europe as a result of the war in Ukraine.”
Moraitis adds: “Most international buyers mention that the value offered by our properties is significant while the lifestyle on offer is extremely compelling, ranking among the best available elsewhere in the world. This segment of the market is also unaffected by interest rate hikes and is generally keen to diversify its investments while benefitting from living in properties with outstanding views, lifestyles, and amenities, with globally acclaimed wine farms easily accessible. Not only has the Atlantic Seaboard always been relatively less impacted by not only the interest rates, but also by other cyclical downturns and shocks to the economy, and continues to serve as a hedge against uncertain times.”
Commenting on Camps Bay, Moraitis says this residential property market has boomed, especially for upcountry and foreign buyers who are pleasantly surprised by the value offered for the prime property with views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Twelve Apostles. “The Clifton bungalows are again very much in demand by upcountry buyers looking for a specific and unique lifestyle offering. The entry-level price for a bungalow is currently R20 million for a knockdown. We have recently sold two such bungalows on Fourth Beach, both of which are to be demolished for new state-of-the-art homes. Luxury top-end apartments also remain in demand across the entire Atlantic Seaboard and continue to be sought after by international buyers for ease of convenience and lock up-and-go lifestyles.
“Green Point is also very much in demand, with its convenient location in close proximity to the central city and main arterial routes in and out of the Atlantic Seaboard making it a firm favourite for families and professionals. The price points from around R2 million up to R20 million make it easier to get into this market and the lifestyle is very similar to the rest of the Atlantic Seaboard.”
The holiday rental market in the Cape Metro has also soared. Arno de Wit, Pam Golding Properties rentals manager for the area says: “We experienced a boom in holiday rentals over the festive season as local and international visitors returned in their thousands. We concluded a number of holiday lets over December with five of our most recent including:
De Wit says with Cape Town recently voted one of the top 10 World’s Best Cities with various online polls it is no surprise that the Mother City remains a popular hotspot for many tourists. “Camps Bay with its vibrant, cosmopolitan beach strip packed with trendy restaurants and night spots, remains a firm favorite for holiday rentals. Most of the enquiries are from overseas visitors, looking for villas with contemporary, luxurious finishes, fast internet connectivity, good security, and a swimming pool. The weak rand has also been an additional draw card for foreign tourists.”
Among long-term rentals, Pam Golding Properties recently let a five-bedroom home in Claremont Upper in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs for R170 000 per month, while their highest asking rental currently available is R290 000 per month for a 10-bedroom home in Constantia.