Cape Estate agents rejoice - spring brings out the buyers

Every Cape estate agent with a few years experience will tell you that he can – and does – sell houses throughout winter. Most, however, will also confess that the moment the spring sunshine appears, buyers come out of hibernation and sales pick up.

“It is quite uncanny,” said Anton du Plessis, CEO of Vineyard Estates, “but with over twenty years’ property selling experience I cannot recall a single year in which this pattern has not been seen.”

In full expectation that this would happen again this year, Vineyard Estates put over a dozen houses on show between mid September and mid October, and promptly sold one at R13 million (the asking price was R15 million) and another at R14 million (it also had an asking price of R15 million).

Following up on his previous statement that professional valuers sometimes under-price a home because they cannot cost in its intangible “magical” qualities, du Plessis said that in this case the R13 million home had been valued at R11 million by a valuer – who, scoring it purely on its size, position and facilities, had “missed” certain of its intangible virtues, especially its charm and appeal.

Du Plessis said that the combined turnover of Vineyard Estates in September/October is likely to be R27 million, with another conditional offer of R8 million on the table – “not bad for a niche boutique operation”.

“The revival in the market accompanying the sunny weather is as evident as ever,” he said. “The pent up demand usually peaks in October, and then gradually settles until early to mid-December when the local buyers tend to be fairly inactive. Sales at this time are, however, always supplemented by upcountry and, to a lesser extent, international buyers. We have seen local buyers rejoin the market after New Year, increasingly later each year over the last five years. For this reason we anticipate activity “normalising” again after the 25th of January 2010.”

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