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Less is more for Cape Town buyers

“There is, however, still a good market for family homes in the R2 million to R5 million range and we recently achieved top dollar for the seller of a large home in Plumstead at R2.895 million.

“This is according to Geoff Stroebel, owner of the RealNet Southern Suburbs franchise, who says they recently sold three duplexes in a complex in central Kenilworth at an average price of R1.25 million within four weeks, with the first apartment selling on the listing day.

“The cost of running and maintaining a large estate or home is becoming prohibitive and security is always an issue.

“There consequently seems to be a tendency to downscale, and the result is that in the upmarket suburbs of Constantia and Bishopscourt alone there are currently about 120 large properties on the market at the moment with prices ranging from R5 million to R20 million,” he says.

Current market conditions dictate that the bulk of the sales taking place in his area, which extends from Rondebosch to Dreyersdal, are in the R1 million to R2 million price range, says Stroebel. “Banks are offering 100% mortgage loans up to R1.5 million, and we are finding that as far as affordability is concerned, the middle-income group fits right into this bracket as prospective buyers need disposable income of around R17 500 to qualify for a bond of R1.5 million.”

However, he says there is very little stock coming onto the market at this level and the shortage is being compounded by the Cape winter months when sellers tend to “hunker down”.

“But sellers at this level should take note that the lack of stock has had the desired effect of pushing up prices, and there are currently buyers a-plenty out there.”

Always popular, and in very short supply, are flats and apartments close to the university and educational hub of Rondebosch where record prices are being achieved. For instance, an 80sqm two bedroom unit in Rosebank was recently sold by them for R1 million, he says.

Some upmarket one bedroom apartments in central Claremont are changing hands at prices of more than R2 million, says Stroebel. “There is, however, still a good market for family homes in the R2 million to R5 million range and we recently achieved top dollar for the seller of a large home in Plumstead at R2.895 million.”

He says the most crucial element in the current economic environment is accurate valuation and pricing. “Unfortunately, there is still a tendency in the industry for some agents to overprice properties in order to secure mandates.”

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