South Africa: Atlantic Seaboard 'Reeling in Buyers'

SALES of residential property along Cape Town's Atlantic seaboard have continued to boom into the new year in spite of four interest rate hikes in four months and a cooling property market.

"The last six months have been simply phenomenal. Since July 2006, this agency alone has sold in excess of R200m worth of residential property in the area. There is also no indication that the demand is letting up," says Lance Cohen, head of Atlantic seaboard residential property specialists Lance Real Estate.

Cohen says foreigners accounted for about 20% of the value of the company's sales during the period, with the most high-profile of these sales being to international model and lingerie designer Caprice Bourret, who last month bought a five-bedroom, five-bathroom house in Camps Bay for R15,5m.

"Caprice was renting the house for the season, fell in love with it and bought it through Tanya Joubert, one of our agents. That kind of thing happens a lot in this area."

He says he is seeing much interest being shown in local residential and commercial property by foreign investors, particularly from the Middle East.

Growing foreign and local interest has meant residential property prices along the Atlantic seaboard continue to rise at a "cracking pace" into the new year.

"New residential property in Sea Point is currently selling at well in excess of R20000/m', up from about R16000/m' to R18000/m' at the start of 2006," says Cohen.

He says another indication of the booming market is the recent sale by Lance Real Estate of an apartment on Ocean View Drive in Sea Point, which fetched R10m, a record for the area.

Other Atlantic seaboard suburbs are experiencing a similar upward trend in property prices.

"Recently, sales in the Bantry Bay development, The Bantry, have changed hands in excess of R65000/m. 'A year ago, these were selling for under R50000/m'."

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