The V&A Waterfront’s Front Yacht Basin boasts the second most expensive real estate per square metre in South Africa – second only to Clifton – with record prices in the precinct last year reaching close to R100 000 per m².
Lew Geffen, Chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says much of the property bought on the Front Yacht Basin is for investment purposes rather than permanent residence.
“Life in the V&A Waterfront is the ultimate in lock-up-and-go, unrivalled anywhere else in the country from a convenience point of view,” says Geffen.
The luxurious apartment blocks and penthouses with their ultra-tight security that make up the Front Yacht Basin are sandwiched between the deluxe One & Only and Cape Grace hotels, and are just a short walk away from Africa’s shopping, entertainment and dining mecca.
The Waterfront precinct is the most visited attraction in Africa – drawing more footfall than the Pyramids of Giza – with some 24 million visitors last year alone, according to official V&A Waterfront figures.
“The V&A Waterfront added R198 billion to South Africa’s GDP over a ten year period (from 2002 to 2012),” according to CEO David Green.
He says proximity to the Waterfront also added an additional 23% value to residential properties that fall within a 1.5km radius of this prime location over the same period.
Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Atlantic Seaboard CEO Brendan Miller says that properties on the Front Yacht Basin tend to average between R80 000 and R85 000 per m², while Canal properties average between R55 000 and R65 000 per m².
“The Front Yacht Basin may be the most desirable location in the Waterfront, but the Canal properties present exceptional value for money and buyers have found them to be an extremely strategic investment,” says Miller.
According to Propstats.co.za the combined Canal and Front Yacht Basin apartment market in 2014 was 48 sales worth more than R512 million.
Propstats figures show that 13 Front Yacht Basin apartments changed hands to the value of more than R280 million, at an average sale price of R21,569,231.
Geffen says some of the biggest money on the Atlantic Seaboard is undoubtedly being spent on property in the Waterfront. “Wealthy Gauteng residents are buying more holiday homes in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, generally on the Canals, and some are even choosing to live there permanently and commute for business.
“During 2007 the average price for an apartment on the Canal was R5. 84m at R40 300 per square metre.
“Buying residential property here is clearly a watertight investment that outstrips inflation.”
The highest price paid for a single residence in the Waterfront in 2014 was a penthouse on the Front Yacht Basin sold by Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty that changed hands for R38.5m at R78 411 per square metre.
Miller says the Front Yacht Basin is extremely attractive to the international market, both from a location and value point of view.
“There simply isn’t a more secure lock-up-and-go location anywhere and the surrounding amenities are world class, which is what international travellers want when they stay in Cape Town.
“When not in use by the owners, many of these apartments are also made available for short term lets, which brings in substantial income for owners because these apartments attract high rentals and tend to be busy for most of the year.”
Says Geffen: “In 2013 properties on the Waterfront yacht basin were selling for around R70 000 per m² and we considered those prices to be high, but in 2014 two were sold for more than R90 000 per m² and a few more for over R80 000 per m². In the Waterfront a one-bedroom flat can cost more than R6m.”
The V&A’s convenience comes from being able to be on the N1 or N2 within five minutes and from being able to walk to Cape Town’s most exclusive shopping experience along secure, picturesque pathways.
“Property within the V&A Waterfront will never drop in value because by virtue of the location there is limited residential development space,” says Geffen.
“The scarcity of residential property there is not going to change because of development space limitations, so there’s always going to be greater demand than supply,” adds Geffen.
Geffen says there is no doubt that the Atlantic Seaboard in general and the Waterfront in particular will remain an attractive property investment for buyers in the coming year, with sales numbers likely to top those of 2014 if there is sufficient stock available to sell.
Article by: Lew Geffen Sotheby’s