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Wednesday Mar 17, 2021

Cape Town's Southern Suburbs market on the up and up

During a time when most areas are experiencing a notable lull at the top end of the market with the only real activity being seen at the entry level, Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs is holding its own, with a number of high end and cash sales already concluded during the first two months of 2021.

The estate sector, especially, has picked up notably after a very subdued 2020 and, there has been a significant uptick in both sales and queries since December, according to Steve Thomas and David Burger, Secure Estate Specialist team for Lew Geffen, Sotheby’s International Realty in the region,

"In one single day in February alone, our office concluded three estate home sales, including one for R24 million to a Johannesburg buyer. All three were cash deals with no conditions.

"The recent surge in activity is certainly partly due to pent up demand in the local market, but we are also seeing revived interest from Gauteng buyers and increased enquiries from foreign investors who recognise the value to be found in Cape Town."

The duo adds that after months of lockdown, secure estates have become especially appealing as they offer families a safe environment for leisure and outdoor activities beyond the confines of their own homes. And on the selling side, emigration and scaling down are the main drivers.

This revival is clearly evidenced by Lightstone data which reveals that there has been a recent flurry of activity, especially in popular estates like Steenberg Golf Estate where four properties have already changed hands this year at a median price of R13.3m compared to only fives sales during 2020 at a median price of R12m.

In suburbs like Claremont and Kenilworth, the lower end of the market has predictably been fueled by first time buyers taking advantage of the low interest rate but there have also been interesting market shifts and surprises at mid-market level.

Last year saw Kenilworth Upper outperforming Claremont Upper for the first time in recent memory, with 12 and eight sales respectively, according to the Area Specialist for the group, Barbara Manning.

"The significant factor in this shift is the median sale price because even though many investors can afford to buy in these areas, value for money is currently a key consideration in all price bands and, with a median price of R6.6m, Kenilworth Upper is seen as offering better value than Claremont Upper at R8.8m."

She adds that the market in the exclusive neighbouring suburb of Bishopscourt has also begun to pick up, with six sales recorded between August and November 2020, although only one was above R20m.

Tokai has also bounced back after a price period correction during 2018 and 2019, with 2020 house sales up by 41% on the previous year, says Claude McKirby, Co-Principal for the group’s Southern Suburbs office.

"According to Lightstone, 24 houses were sold at a median sale price of R3.525m in Tokai in 2019 and last year, despite three months of stringent lockdown, 35 houses changed hands at a median price of R3.6m."

According to McKirby, the upper end of the market in Constantia has also done consistently well overall, notwithstanding the pandemic, with sales and enquiries generally being better in 2020 than the previous year. 

"Interestingly, although the mid-value bands were the most consistent last year, holding steady since March, there was a spike in the monthly inflation of the luxury sector in June which, for the first time since early 2018, rose above the annual inflation in that sector.

"Our Constantia team concluded seven plus sales in the last three months of 2020 and at the beginning of this year, they co-brokered the highest ever sale price in Constantia."

McKirby says that there has been consistent interest from local buyers looking to upgrade to more quarantine-friendly homes or downsize to single-storey security homes as well as from upcountry buyers who are once again looking to move to the Western Cape.

"There has also been considerable interest from swallows and foreign buyers who are already, or are looking to become, permanent residents and this can largely be attributed to the comparative value the area offers and the quality lifestyle residents enjoy."

Tracy Bartlett
Creative Director
C: 082 5222 141


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