Clifton, the highest priced coastal suburb in South Africa and considered the Monte Carlo of the southern hemisphere, has consistently remained one of South Africa’s platinum residential areas, with a total of 630 properties worth R5.588 billion changing hands since the millennium.
Brendan Miller, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Atlantic Seaboard chief executive, says that Clifton property values have consistently risen in value through the years, defying the general prevailing trends of the SA property market.
“Most notable has been the phenomenal growth for houses since 2000, when the average sale price was only R4.17m, while 2014 realised an average selling price of R19.24m which equates to a whopping 360 percent increase in 15 years.”
Miller says that apartments in Clifton are equally sought after, with demand being much greater than supply.
“In 2014 a total of 24 apartments were sold to the value of just under R176m, and in the first quarter of 2015 four apartments changed hands with a combined value of R51.6m, the highest price paid being for a three-bedroom apartment in Heronwater on Second Beach.”
Fetching R36m, the lavish 300m² apartment overlooking the beach realised an impressive R120 000/m2.
More sales are likely to be noted by the deeds office once sales have been registered.
Tanya Joubert, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty agent for Clifton, says that over and above the obvious appeal factors like its spectacular location and proximity to the city, one of the key contributing factors to the exclusivity of this sought after enclave is limited availability.
“Positioned very snugly between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, with suburbs on either side, there really is no more space for development, so when properties do come on to the market, they are often snapped up quickly.”
Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty says: “The property market in a suburb like Clifton operates independently of the general property market, and the quest to own a piece of this exclusive strip shows no signs of abating.
“According to the latest Western Cape FNB property report released last month, foreign residential land ownership in the Western Cape is estimated to be approaching 10 percent – nearly double the national average. Much of that will be in suburbs like Clifton where properties in the super-luxury bracket are far more affordable if you are paying in dollars or euros, considering the weakness of the rand against the major currencies.”
Geffen says that although relatively few properties are sold annually in this small suburb, they realise hefty prices.
“During 2014 only 10 houses and 24 apartments were sold, but total the total sales value of these was not far off the R400m mark.”
He says very few bonds are registered on sales in Clifton; most property transactions tend to be cash deals.
Ranked by New World Wealth as one of the most expensive residential areas in SA, and the most expensive suburb a square metre, Clifton is also home to one of SA’s most desirable streets on which to live. Properties on Nettleton Road, which offers panoramic views from the Clifton beaches all the way to the Twelve Apostles, command average rates of R100 000/m².
Miller says that recorded average values for sales of properties over R10m in 2014 reveal that Clifton stands out at R21.925m, followed by Bantry Bay at R19.82m and Llandudno at R16.6m.
He says that although the property values in Clifton are beyond the reach of most South Africans, locals are still the main investors in the area.
“Measured since the beginning of 2014, 70 percent of investors during this time were South African, 20 percent from the United Kingdom, with the remaining 10 percent of buyers from France, Nigeria and Uruguay, among others.”
Barak Tomlin, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty agent for Clifton, says that properties in Clifton also yield a high rental return, with premium houses and beachfront properties fetching daily rates of up to R75 000 for short term holiday rentals.
“This high return also applies to long term rentals with annual leases, where those seeking the opulent lifestyle are willing to pay up to R250 000 a month for a house or R190 000 a month for a luxury apartment.”