In the area 3 - Hout Bay


Demand has been held back by recession but is now pent-up, says Mercer.

Hout Bay, where Anne Porter Knight Frank now have a branch following their purchase of Matt Mercer’s agency, is “taking off as a residential area”, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank.

“I think we gained our foothold here at exactly the right point in the area’s history,” she said, “because the volume of sales this year is 10% up on the same period last year. Talking to Matt Mercer’s clients, it becomes clear that people see great value in property at the current Hout Bay and Llandudno prices.”

Anne Porter Knight Frank’s Hout Bay and Llandudno stock, she said, is priced from R750 000 for a single bedroom sectional title flat to R21 million for a sea-facing Llandudno home. The average price for the whole precinct, which now has 10 000 homes, she added, is still a low R2,5 million and this has not risen noticeably this year

Matt Mercer himself said that there is now a huge pent-up demand in Hout Bay and Llandudno due to people holding back on selling until the market rises.

“This leaves room for considerable rapid appreciation once the current recession ends.

“One result of this and a very positive sign of the area’s growing popularity is that there is now far too little stock to satisfy buyers. Another good sign is that among the existing potential buyers there are many who are looking to buy for rental purposes, especially now that the 2010 Soccer World Cup is not far away. Others are making plans to move out and rent their homes during that period, knowing that tourists find Hout Bay particularly attractive.”

Traditionally, said Mercer, the big minus factor counting against Hout Bay has been the perception that it is a hot crime spot but in fact crime levels for an area with 40 000 residents and over 10 000 houses are not excessive and crime has recently been far less of a deterrent to potential buyers, partly because seven active Neighbourhood Watch teams have kept tabs on illicit activities in the valley.

“For many people the area is now seen as no more dangerous or unsafe than, say, Constantia, Sea Point or Wynberg,” said Mercer. “The only difference is that we publicise all our crime figures via Neighbourhood Watch reports.

Mercer added that the bottoming out of prices in Hout Bay appears to be well under way now.

“2007 Prices were unrealistically high, 2008 was a consolidation period, the second half of 2009 will see the recovery starting and by mid-2010 we should be right back to ‘normal’ trading conditions. This means that many discounted properties now selling at 2006 prices could rise by up to 10% in one year.”

Asked what Anne Porter Knight Frank will be doing to publicise their stock in this area, Steward mentioned that in the coming weeks they will be building on the Matt Mercer reputation and promoting his excellent stock to Knight Frank’s potential UK and European buyers.

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