Security is top of mind for property buyers in the Waterfront area of Cape Town, according to Pam Golding Properties.
The estate agency concluded sales of more than half a billion rand in the Mouille Point, Waterfront and Foreshore areas in 2018 and sales of R60m have already been confirmed over the holiday season.
This was despite a recent slowdown in house prices experienced nationally, which also led to a price correction in "hot spot" property markets such as the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl in Cape Town.
"While the Cape remains the top performing metro housing market in the country, house price inflation in some areas has slowed in line with regional trends," PGP said in a statement on Monday.
"Bearing in mind that the Atlantic Seaboard has come off an exceptionally high price base, having been the top-performing region in the metro housing market for almost a decade with a price appreciation of 125% recorded from 2013 until mid-2018, this slowdown was inevitable."
"There have been enquiries for properties in all price bands, with strong interest in homes at the upper end of the market, where homes are listed for between R40m and R60m," says Mariël Burger, PGP agent for the area.
"The lifting late last year of the City of Cape Town's water restrictions has renewed confidence in the metro, and Cape Town Tourism reports a nearly 10% increase in foreign visitors to the city during peak season."
The Waterfront is home to numerous hotels, including Africa's first AC Marriott Hotel, situated in The Yacht Club development that also comprises 170 luxury apartments.
With Cape Town's cruise liner terminal nearby, thousands of visitors arrive in port throughout the year to visit the Mother City.
"Walk-in activity from tourists coming past the PGP office has led to many enquiries and several sales. But it's not just foreign interest fuelling this robust market. The Waterfront also appeals to local and upcountry buyers," says Burger.
"We are selling to property owners already in the neighbourhood who are looking to upscale but remain in the area, or those wanting to invest in an additional property."
The same can be said for Mouille Point where, according to December 2018 property data, sectional title prices appreciated by 145% in the past five years.
Two apartments sold recently at The Waterfront Estate for R18.995m and R12.99m respectively. The average listing period of the apartments sold in Mouille Point and the Waterfront between December 1, 2018 and January 14, 2019 was 12 weeks compared to the national average of 17 weeks and six days, as reported by the FNB Estate Agent Survey for the third quarter of 2018.
Three of the units were sold within 10 days of being listed. The average listing price was R7.4m, with an average difference of -5% on the actual sales price.
"Rising fuel costs, increased traffic congestion and a desire for safe living in an area near to amenities has led to the growing appeal of mixed-use residential precincts," says PGP agent Paul Levy.
"Also, the substantial investment by several global and blue-chip companies in office headquarters in the area, means that its employees want to be accommodated in the nearby residential developments."
He said that, as more people move into the Waterfront and surrounding areas, greater emphasis is placed on incorporating multidimensional open spaces that allow for pedestrian movement and outdoor activities.
The V&A Waterfront has already invested R1.1bn in the development of the Canal District that integrates the Waterfront and CBD via various pedestrian routes.