Buying binge breaks R500-m

Posted On Friday, 05 April 2002 09:34 Published by
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Estate agents were the top Cape tourist attraction this summer
Foreign holiday-makers to the Western Cape are heading home to the northern spring as the owners of properties worth at least R500m. These range from R190,000 City Bowl flats to a R30m suburban home.

Estate agents were caught by surprise this summer when locals joined the foreign binge.

Pam Golding Properties (PGP), the largest agent, with about 28% of the Western Cape market, will probably exceed R1bn in sales from December to March (almost equal to total sales in 2001). About R350m worth of these were to foreigners. Local sales for the period could be R4bn.

Seeff, the second-largest agency, with 13% of the market, sold R113m to foreigners. Director Samuel Seeff says: 'It has been an unbelievable season. By February, Sea Point was close on 500% up on last year's foreign sales.' He says the rush has triggered price increases in the region after two and a half stagnant years. There is a shortage of stock in some areas.

'Prices in Bantry Bay, Clifton and parts of Constantia have risen by 20% and more,' he says. 'A house worth R3m six months ago is now going for R3,75m.'

More important, perhaps, Seeff is seeing the first signs of the 'dollarisation' of prices. Even local buyers convert rand prices to dollars or sterling. 'Houses selling for R2m - and even R4m - are now everyday occurrences. Even R7m sales are becoming common.'

But some high-profile properties at stratospheric prices - Uitsig farm in Constantia, for one - have not been sold.

PGP CEO Andrew Golding says foreign sales were in the usual areas - Atlantic coast, southern suburbs, City Bowl and the winelands. But the west coast suburbs of Bloubergstrand and Table View are also becoming popular. Locals, he says, are focusing on golf estates - Arabella, Erinvale and Steenberg. PGP's foreign sales in March are a little down from February's R116m peak. 'They're about R100m.'

Financial Mail

Publisher: Financial Mail
Source: Financial Mail

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