The property market in this exclusive suburb struggled last year in the face of economic and political instability, but has picked up again this year.
Like its exclusive neighbours, Bantry Bay’s residential market took a knock in 2017, with the upper end of the market bearing the brunt, however, the lower segment of the market still remained notably active, achieving respectable growth in the sectional title sector - and the same number of trophy home sales (six) as the previous year.
According to Propstats data, a total of 41 properties with a combined value of R673.3 million changed hands in 2016. Of these, nine were freestanding homes at an average sale price of R19.94m (excluding one exceptional sale of R290m) and 32 sectional title units realised and average sale price of R6.99m.
Last year sales volumes dipped slightly to 39 transactions with a total value of R424.33m, and of these, 11 were houses which sold at an average sale price of R17.69m, an 11.28% decline from the year before. The sectional title sector, however, showed a 17.3% increase with the 28 apartment sales realising an average selling price of R8.2m. According to Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, these figures clearly reflect the impact of a depressed economy on a previously robust market in a sought-after area.
“Bantry Bay has always been one of South Africa’s most desirable suburbs because of unique drawcards like its prime position in the Atlantic Seaboard’s exclusive platinum mile and close proximity to world class amenities so there will always be demand for property here. However, diminishing affordability, political uncertainty and the intensifying water crisis have seen market activity predominantly confined to the lower price bands with more expensive homes generally remaining on the market for much longer.
“In 2016, houses spent an average of 69 days on the market and sold for 9.8% less than the asking price, while apartments took an average of 66 days to sell with a difference of 6,2% between advertised and selling price.
“Last year, freestanding homes on average fetched 17.7% less than the original asking price after 114 days on the market and while the average selling time for apartments dropped to 52 days and but the gap between asking and selling price grew to 7.4%.”
Jolene Alterskye, Area Specialist for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty says: “Buyers are increasingly looking for secure, low maintenance, lock-up-and-go properties, especially those with outdoor spaces like balconies and terraces. However, now more than ever, buyers are also looking for value for money so the highest demand is for properties up to R8m, although record prices are still being achieved for unique homes at the top end of the market.
“A colleague at our Sea Point office recently achieved a record price for a Sea Point penthouse and I have just secured a sole mandate for another exceptional penthouse in an exclusive block of only six residences in Bantry Bay.”
She adds that one of the main reasons buyers are drawn to the area these days is because of its close proximity to myriad top-class amenities, particularly shops and restaurants.
“With traffic congestion getting worse and worse, the fact that these are within walking distance is a huge drawcard and many of my clients confess that they now seldom drive their cars anymore. And, being nestled between sea and mountain gives them the best of both worlds – a relaxed oceanside lifestyle with glorious sunsets as well as the conveniences and amenities of a modern city.”
Alterskye concludes: “Last year we saw many investors seriously considering selling off their properties and there were very few new buyers entering the market but the start of 2018 has shown a great revival of consumer confidence and along with that many new enquiries with cash sales being dominant. Buyers are alert and ready to jump at good opportunities.
“We have also seen a notable resurgence of investment purchasing, especially for short term rentals to service not only the holiday market but also the year-round demand from the business sector, with Parliament, the International Convention Centre, V & A Waterfront as well as many corporate head offices within close proximity.”
“And, although the drought certainly put further stress on the market last year, international events like The Argus and Volvo Yacht Race go a long way in showing foreign investors that this is still a prime area in which to buy property.”
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