A look at the apartments driving Cape Town’s crazy waterfront property boom

 ·12 Feb 2018

Waterfront apartments across Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard continue to defy the overall cooling in the property market, with buyers prepared to pay high prices for the right property, according to Lynn Pinn and Finella Botes, Seeff’s team for the Waterfront and Mouille Point.

The total rand value of sales at the Waterfront (including the Silo’s) for 2017 is up by 44% from 2016 and the combined value of Waterfront and Mouille Point sales, being about R900 million (per Propstats data) make up about half of luxury apartment sales generated for the Atlantic Seaboard for the year.

The Seeff team concluded R264 million across these areas, achieving 34% market share at the Waterfront and 39% in Mouille Point.

Most buyers of luxury apartments have been cash buyers, representing over 90% of the team’s recent sales, Seeff said. Apartments were bought for a variety of reasons, ranging from investment for rental purposes to second and primary homes.

The Seeff team said that the opening of the new Silo District at the Waterfront has been a further boost for waterfront living despite what was a challenging economy last year. While the number of units sold at the Waterfront was down slightly from 39 (2016) to 35 (2017), the total value is up by as much as 44% to R609,330,860 (vs R423,285,300 in 2016) and at an average selling price of R17.4 million.

The property group said that despite the challenging economic conditions, these luxury apartments in their areas are still selling quite fast (within 30-60 days on average) and for close to, or full asking price if they are correctly priced.

A Seeff analysis of Lightstone and Propstats data as at the third quarter of 2017 shows a continued upward growth trend in the selling rate with Canal apartments selling for R82 698/sqm on average, a noteworthy 16% up year-on-year and 132% up over five years since 2012. This is one of the highest growth rates even by Atlantic Seaboard standards and clearly illustrates the outstanding investment proposition on offer, say the agents.

At the Front Yacht Basin (FYB), the selling rate stands at around R95 122/sqm, 10% up year-on-year and a phenomenal 145% higher than five years ago.

Canal apartment sales still dominate, comprising 60% of all activity for the year at the V&A Marina, but it is notable that the price differential between Canal and Front Yacht Basin (FYB) apartments has closed from 21% in 2016 to just 15%.

Overall, only 20% of sales at the Waterfront now fall below the R10 million price band while 54% fall in the R10 million-R20 million price band and the remaining 26% in the R20 million-R40 million range.

Neighbouring Mouille Point has seen a decline both in the number of units sold and the rand value and while some of this is due to a softening in demand, it is also attributable to new development sales in the 2016-year. A total of around 45 units worth R283 580 000 at an average selling price of just over R6.3 million (R11.9 million for luxury apartments) were concluded for 2017, about 17% down in volume terms and 26% in value.

Seeff said that 36% of all sales in Mouille Point were above R6 million ranging to a highest price of R24 million.

Apartments at the new Silos are also now coming onto the market and the agents note that they currently have a number of excellent listings including a top end glass-fronted corner unit at Silo No. 2, Seeff said. It is priced at R18 million and comes with two bedroom suites, open-plan living, 24-hour security, secure parking, high speed internet, a 24-hour Concierge Service and access to a communal rooftop entertainment/leisure area with braai facilities and a swimming pool.

In neighbouring Mouille Point is an exclusive block that offers one apartment per floor with a floor space of 329sqm priced at just under R40 million.

It comes with three en-suite bedrooms, magnificent views and top end finishes including Miele appliances and extras such as an ice maker, wooden floor in the living areas, air-conditioning throughout and under-floor heating in the bathrooms, a separate laundry and storage/utility room, external shutters for sun protection and privacy and two secure, underground parking bays.

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