The Covid pandemic has been an enormous boost for the property market with low-interest rates and favourable mortgage conditions driving many areas to the highest sales in five years and record highs across many neighbourhoods according to the Seeff Property Group.
Seeff takes a look at the twenty of the most popular neighbourhoods over the last year by firstly assessing which were the most searched areas over the last year on its website (one of the largest with over 20,000 listings) and correlating these with their market performance (as reported by Lightstone data).
The results show that while the pandemic drove many buyers to smaller coastal and country towns, many neighbourhoods in the main metros enjoyed record-high activity, not just in the Cape, but also in the Pretoria, Johannesburg, and Port Elizabeth areas.
Nine of the top-performing areas are in Gauteng and include Protea Glen (Soweto), Midstream Estate (Centurion), Greenstone Hill (Edenvale), Randburg, Bryanston, and Fourways (Sandton), Midrand, Centurion, and Waterkloof Ridge (Pretoria East).
Protea Glen (Soweto) achieved the highest transaction volumes since 2016 driven by young and family buyers, especially in the R400,000 to R1.5 million range according to Seeff Soweto.
Greenstone Hill (Edenvale) achieved the highest number of transactions in over 3-years and steady YoY price appreciation driven by high demand for the good location (close to the airport and major transport) and the good choice of sectional and estate property, according to Seeff Edenvale.
Randburg meanwhile achieved a record 6473 transactions worth over R8.3 billion, driven by affordability and higher mortgage success, and also boasts a dynamic rental market, according to Duane Butler, licensee for Seeff.
Bryanston (Sandton) achieved a 7-year high in transaction volumes and a total market value of almost R3bn. Homes have sold from around R1.2 million for apartments to over R20 million according to Charles Vining, MD for Seeff Sandton.
The Midrand market achieved transactions worth over R5.3 billion. Vining says it offers many affordable areas and proximity to Pretoria and Johannesburg and has seen a massive shift to young buyers comprising over 40%.
Tiaan Pretorius, manager for Seeff Centurion says the area achieved a phenomenal 6936 transactions worth almost R10 billion, the highest in over 6-years. Midstream Estate was the top area with close to R2.3 billion in value. It is hugely popular with family buyers seeking security and offers over 7000 homes, schools, shopping, and medical care.
Waterkloof Ridge achieved a total transaction value of R1.3 billion and steady YoY price appreciation. Fabulous views and grand homes are a big drawcard for luxury buyers in the suburb according to Gerhard van der Linde, managing director for Seeff Pretoria East.
Umhlanga enjoyed a formidable year with transactions of close to R3 billion. Brett Botsis, licensee for Seeff Umhlanga says the area is seeing an influx of luxury semigration buyers from other areas and sales of over R20 million on the beachfront have been achieved.
Despite two years of "Covid chaos" and the July riots, it has remained business as usual for the Dolphin Coast/Ballito area, says Andreas Wassenaar, Seeff’s licensee for the area. Semigration has been an added boost with the wide choice of estates being a big drawcard. The two large-scale estates, Zimbali and Simbithi alone delivered over R1.71 billion in sales last year with prices paid of up to R22 million in Simbithi.
Port Elizabeth recorded a record 5677 transactions worth over R6.1bn. Seeff licensee, Pierre Germishuys says it is seen as a great coastal alternative to the Cape and Garden Route. It is very affordable, especially for those who want to reside in the Eastern Cape. It boasts a high percentage of young buyers (30%) and a further 40% in the 36-49 year age group, including many families.
Popular areas include Sea Point and Camps Bay (Atlantic Seaboard), Constantia and Bishopscourt (Southern Suburbs), Durbanville, Blouberg, and Somerset West all rank among the most popular over the last year.
Sea Point achieved the highest activity since the last boom (of 2015-2017) with transactions worth R1.3bn. Ross Levin, licensee for Seeff Atlantic Seaboard says the suburb offers more accessible pricing for aspirant Atlantic Seaboard buyers with almost 30% of buyers under 35-years.
Camps Bay also achieved the highest activity since the last boom and a record number of R20m-plus sales. Due to the higher volume of high-value of sales, the average selling price accelerated to R18.2 million (per Lightstone), he says.
Constantia is another neighbourhood that achieved the best activity since the last boom with transactions of just under R2 billion and a record number of R20m-plus sales according to Seeff Southern Suburbs. Bishopscourt meanwhile achieved the highest sales in over five years including a handful above R20 million.
Fanie Marais, licensee for Durbanville and Welgedacht says excellent value, great schools, and wine farms on your doorstep are a big drawcard for semigration and aspirational buyers. The market achieved record-high transaction volumes and a value of over R4.7 billion.
The Blouberg area also clocked up record activity over the last year. Clinton Martle, Seeff’s licensee, says the area is one of the best to live in and is drawing buyers from all over the country as well as foreign buyers.
Somerset West is another popular area for semigration as well as foreign “swallow” buyers due to the location, prestigious wine estates, and proximity to the airport, says Dinis Martins, Seeff licensee. It achieved this highest transaction volume in five years’ worth over R4.2 billion.