Property Market Activity Flattens out at Lake Michelle

Private Property South Africa

Buyer activity has tapered off somewhat at Lake Michelle in Cape Town’s Noordhoek, which, says Russel Pearson of RE/MAX Peak, is in line with prevailing conditions in the area.

Situated in the “countrified cosmopolitan” village of Noordhoek, Lake Michelle is an award winning eco-estate characterised by two distinct residential nodes. The first section was built some 12 years ago and offers mainly single storey homes with large green spaces and views of Chapman’s Peak. The second node commenced about three years ago and features distinct Cape Cod type homes, walkways, jetties, a boat house and indigenous plants. The estate was originally named The Lakes but was renamed Lake Michelle with the development of the second node. Property prices range from R650 000 for plots to R8m for developed properties.

According to Pearson and the latest Lightstone report on the estate, sales have declined in recent times. 2011 sales to date stand at 10 which are down from 19 in 2010 with the average sales price tallying at R1, 3m. Pearson explains that this scenario is playing out throughout Noordhoek thanks to fears of a double dip recession and a general lack of financial liquidity.

“Although popular, Noordhoek is not bulletproof,” says Pearson. “Property values and sales overall have faltered despite low interest rates; a lot of stock has come onto the market and the most activity is currently occurring in the R700 000 to R1, 5m bracket which for an area known for setting record sales is a clear sign that all is not well.”

Noordhoek is known as an upmarket area where sales in excess of R10m were once the norm. Indeed, some properties sold well in excess of this. It is rumoured that one property at the exclusive ‘De Goede Hoop’ estate sold for R100m to a foreigner in years gone by. Only 43 properties measuring five acres each are located at this estate which nestles at the foot of Chapman’s Peak. In addition to the grand main homes, most De Goede Hoop properties feature stables and additional cottages. Prices currently start at around R10m.

Other well-to-do areas in Noordhoek include Noordhaven and Belvedere. Approximately 100 homes are located at Noordhaven. Although not an estate, Pearson says properties here have to conform to architectural guidelines. Homes are typically designed along Cape Vernacular lines and feature grey pitched chromadek roofs. Property prices currently range from R2m to R7m.

Belvedere properties are generously proportioned and enjoy magnificent views of either the mountains or the sea. Few open plots remain in the area. Those that are available are currently priced from R1m. Developed properties range in price from R3m to R8m.

Noordhoek has also earned a reputation for being an equestrian hub. Two and five acre plots featuring a multitude of stables and horses are not uncommon and local horse owners regularly walk their horses at Noordhoek beach. In the “good old days” these properties would sell for as much as R25m Pearson says.

But Noordhoek isn’t all mink and manure. Affordable entry level property can be bought in Sun Valley near Long Beach Mall, one of Noordhoek’s main shopping nodes. Single bedroom apartments are selling here for R450 000 and two and three bedroom homes can be bought for R950 000. Sectional Title properties priced at between R550 000 and R850 000 are also available in Milkwood Park.

Although Noordhoek and its associated nodes are feeling the pinch, interest in the area remains strong. Pearson attributes this to the fact that Noordhoek is naturally beautiful and that residents can travel to work in Cape Town with ease. Good schools are also plentiful and the properties offer good value for money. Pearson reckons an upswing is inevitable but will probably only occur late in 2013. When that time comes he says Noordhoek’s fundamental appeal will stand it in good stead once more.

Click here to read the updated Area Review of Lake Michelle

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