Tips for those looking for affordable apartments

10 March 2015

When buying an apartment, it’s important to check the orientation and aspect of the building as well as viewing the apartment itself.  Another tip from Meg Dugmore, a Knight Frank Residential SA agent who specialises in sectional title sales in Wynberg, is to look for the older apartments in blocks that are well-maintained. 

“The older blocks, built from the 1940s to the 1960s, were built in an era when there was a generosity of space, both in height of the ceilings and the rooms’ sizes,” said Dugmore.

When buying in a newer block the units are likely to be quite small in comparison and often have limited green and parking space available because of the lack of developable land available in built up areas, she said.  Prices of units in newer developments in the southern suburbs range now from a minimum of R1 million to as  much as R10m, depending where the block is builts  whereas you can still find two bedroom apartments in an older block in Wynberg at prices ranging from R750 000 to R2 500 000. 

The average selling price of sectional title apartments in Wynberg according to PropStats in the last year has been R952 000, while the previous year the average was R873 000.  This is a 9% increase year on year, which gives an investor steady capital appreciation, while not placing it out of reach of the average young couple looking for an apartment to buy, said Lanice Steward, managing director of Knight Frank Residential SA. 

One apartment Dugmore tips as being a good investment right now, partially because it is in an older north facing block, and the other reason being that it has recently been refurbished, is a two bedroom 84m² apartment on the market at R1 475 000.  This block was built in the 1960s, and has solid, thick walls as well as having high ceilings, balconies (this particular one enclosed to create an extra-long dining room) and ample parking space with garages for each unit. 

All the apartments in this block enjoy views of the Back Table and are filled with natural light and warmth. 

“Anyone buying in here would not go wrong,” said Dugmore , “because a steady growth in capital as well as a well-run body corporate is what you should be looking for in addition to an affordable price.”