Carnage in Cape Town's luxury home market as sellers slash prices by millions

07 August 2019 - 11:43 By Dave Chambers
Late film-maker Keith Rose's 20-year labour of love, Blackwood Lodge in Hout Bay, has had its price cut by 25% to R29m.
Late film-maker Keith Rose's 20-year labour of love, Blackwood Lodge in Hout Bay, has had its price cut by 25% to R29m.
Image: Seeff

Property prices have crashed in some of Cape Town’s priciest suburbs as demand evaporates.

Sellers on the Atlantic seaboard and in upper Constantia have cut asking prices by up to R10m in the past three months, according to latest sales data.

In a statement on Wednesday, estate agent Seeff’s MD for the Atlantic seaboard and city bowl, Ross Levin, said recent sales had been concluded at “anything between 20% and 50% below the asking prices”.

He added: “The market is already down by 40% since 2016/17, and despite the expected uptick following the election, the reality has been a further decline of 15% in value generated during the first half of this year. High-end sales remain especially slow.”

Seeff’s luxury market specialist, Lance Cohen, said he had several high-end listings where prices had been reduced by millions of rands.

Propstats data showed properties were taking 126 days to sell, on average, compared with 75 days in 2018.

Prices being achieved for Atlantic seaboard properties were 16.9% below asking prices, on average.

A house in Camps Bay that went on the market for R50m was sold for R25m, and Seeff said it knew of other discounts amounting to 20.5% on an R11.95m sale and 27.4% on a R9.5m sale.

In Bantry Bay, a R45m asking price was dropped by 40% to R27m. In Fresnaye, a vacant plot's price dropped from R35m to R25.5m, and the average price differential in the suburb was 23.4%.

In Clifton, an apartment sold at 40.4% below the asking price and the price differential for the suburb was 20.3%. Levin said the average price differential for properties below R5m was 9.7%, and Sea Point flats had sold for up to 21.3% below the asking price.

The median sales price for apartments at the V&A Waterfront Marina had declined by 47% since 2017 and by 24% since last year.

A five-bedroom Fresnaye home has had its price cut from R65m to R57m.
A five-bedroom Fresnaye home has had its price cut from R65m to R57m.
Image: Seeff

Rentals have also plummeted, said Seeff’s rentals manager for the Atlantic seaboard, Natalie Muller.

Janine Stevenson and Steven Holvec, Seeff’s agents for upper Constantia, said they had recorded price drops of up to 25% on a R24m sale, 27.1% on a R15.9m sale, 26.6% on a R10.9m sale and 34.2% on a R15.95m sale, all in the past three months.

Hout Bay was seeing price differentials of up to 20%, Seeff said, and the dream home built by filmmaker Keith Rose, who died last year, had had its asking price reduced from R39m to R29m.

Rose put local advertising on the global stage with his award-winning TV adverts, including the “Beat the Bends” BMW twisting along Chapman’s Peak Drive in Cape Town.

In private, Rose spent more than 20 years conceiving and building an extraordinary forest estate on the slopes of Table Mountain, called Blackwood Lodge. After his death, it went on auction with a reserve price of R45m but did not sell.

Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group, said it was one of the best buyers’ markets in decades, especially at upper price levels.


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