While some markets may be slowing down, the Atlantic Seaboard is a market that beats to its own drum and is resilient to most market factors, including economic fluctuation.
This is according to Ian Slot, Seeff’s managing director for the area, who says on the back of strong activity in the sectional title sector of the market, there is now almost no ceiling on what buyers will pay for the right unit in a prime location such as Clifton, Bantry Bay, Camps Bay and the V&A Waterfront.
This is particularly evident from the fact that the luxury R3 million-plus sector title sales now account for more than 80% of all sectional title sales on the Atlantic Seaboard.
Sales for the first half of this year already amount to some 144 units, worth over R1.138 billion. In unit terms, this amounts to a significant 32%, more than the first half of last year, while the value is 29% up year-on-year.
Slot says aside from this year’s performance, the statistic over the last three years tell of a market sector clearly on the up. Sales for the twelve months ended June 2015 amount to about 299 units, to value of almost R2.25 billion, 37% more than the 218 sales concluded for 2013 and 50% more in value generated.
It is also a predominantly a cash market, with up to 80% of top-end buyers paying cash, which means that sellers do not have to wait for onerous ‘subject to sale’ fulfilment.
He says, as noted above, the price that buyers are prepared to pay, continues trending upwards. While Green Point units range around the R26 000 to R36 000 per square metre mark, buyers are now paying up to R40 000 per square metre in Sea Point.
In top-end areas such as Camps Bay and Bantry Bay, they are paying up to R60 000 per square metre. At the Waterfront, the top end rates now range to just under R100 000 per square metre, while Clifton has already reached R120 000 per square metre.
Slot says in terms of top-end sales, they are seeing much more now compared to three years ago. While only 9 sales were recorded above the R10 million price mark for the 2013 year, this jumped to 60 sales last year, 12 of which fell above the R20 million mark.
This includes the four highest Waterfront achievers, ranging in price from R22.75 million for a 255sqm unit in Pembroke that sold for R89 216 per square metre, to R32 million for a 410sqm unit in Parama that sold for R78 049 per square metre.
Seeff agents, Ross Levin and Kim Bailey say the Waterfront is currently experiencing particularly high demand, and it is a good time for sellers. It also generated the highest value over the last year at R552 million from 53 sales.
The entry-level price in this area is now R6.5 million for a two bedroom apartment on the canal, while the rates per square metre have reached levels of R71 946 on the Front Yacht Basin (FYB) and R67 083 (plus VAT) on the Canal.
Prices now range to around R50 million on the FYB, and about R16 million on the Canal.
Levin says at the neighbouring Granger Bay, rates at the sought-after Waterclub have now reached R68 702 per square metre based on recent sales, similar to the rates paid for Canal-facing units at the Waterfront.
Levin and Bailey say the top end of the market is not driven by price, but rather by location and a comfortable lifestyle. Buyers are prepared to pay a top price for the right location and are generally quite happy to renovate and remodel.
What they do tend to look for, though, is excellent security, unobstructed views, volume and a lot of light in the unit, architectural uniqueness and a practical layout.
Overall, the highest number of units sold in the R3 million-plus sectional title sector was in Sea Point, with 80 sales worth about R373 million in total.
Meanwhile, about 44 sales in Mouille Point netted just over R375.4 million, and in Green Point, some 26 units sold to the value of R150 million.
In the four top suburbs of Camps Bay, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye and Clifton, a total of 84 units worth over R726 million sold at rates of R40 000 to R120 000 per square metre, and prices ranging to R33 million for a 430sqm unit in Bonne Nouvelle in Bantry Bay.
The apartment also achieved a rate per square metre of R76 744, the highest price achieved for an apartment this year in Bantry Bay.
Agents Mauerberger and Sher say the luxury sectional title sector of the market is just going from strength to strength.
In 2012, for example, a unit in Bantry Bay was sold for a record price of R68 254 per square metre, R21.5 million for the suburb.
Last year, this was exceeded with the sale of a 600sqm apartment at The Bantry for R70 952 per square metre, R42.5 million for the highest price ever achieved by an apartment in the suburb and, with the sale of the Bonne Nouvelle unit, moved the bar to the R77 647 per square metre price mark.
The agents say it is a good time to sell, and there are buyers aplenty, just waiting for the next good listing.