In the area 3 - Constantia

Statements implying that because upper bracket homes are now selling a great deal slower than they did in the 2004-2007 era, Constantia residential sales are few and far between are way off the mark, says Gerald Romanovsky, a senior agent in Eugene Pienaar’s Rawson Properties Constantia franchise.

“There is no denying that the market has slowed,” said Romanovsky, “but it is still ticking over in a way which augurs well for this year.”

Last year (2010), he said, saw 38 Constantia properties sold in the R4 to R5 million bracket, 27 in the R5 to R7 million bracket, 42 priced between R7 and R10 and 12 priced from R10 to R15 million. There were also several sales above R15 million.

“We are now witnessing a slight pickup on that sales rate,” said Romanovsky, “and I anticipate that even on the higher priced categories, we will now see six to ten sales per month.”

Sales times, he said, are also improving: lower priced Constantia homes now sell within 16 weeks and, although it is not possible to give an “average” for the higher price houses, very few have stuck on the market longer than one year.

Romanovsky also took issue with those who have said Constantia property values have been on a downward path for 18 months or more.

“That,” said Romanovsky, “may apply to the ultra-expensive homes but it is worth noting that Finweek calculated that Constantia properties escalated in value on average by 11% in 2008-2010 (the acknowledged slump period) and by 70% from 2005 to 2010.”

Looking ahead, said Romanovsky, it is clear that big significant prices rises are not likely for another two years – but the corollary to this is that those buying now are able to get prices that in five years time will, he predicts, seem to have been amazing.

“Constantia’s appeal,” he added, “needs no explaining by myself – its vineyards, wineries, mountains, equestrian trails and hiking paths, its green belts and its strict design and building regulations have made it internationally renowned – and the good news is that the local council is still spending money in the right direction: alien plants are taken out, the green belts, forests and walks are kept in a good condition and given footbridges and new paths, and exploitative developers are kept at bay. This, coupled to the lack of land for new projects, will ensure that this gem of a precinct, the “jewel in the Cape Peninsula crown” (to quote one of its more hackneyed descriptions) will remain sought after and appealing to the discerning.”

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