Heritage homes in the Newlands suburb of Cape Town have long been a drawcard for property buyers, and they are in high demand because of their scarcity.

According to, this year to date there have been 37 heritage sales in Newlands with five of the properties being over a century old. The average selling price of these properties is around R4.5 million.A heritage home sale in the area was recently completed in Fernwood, and the house can be described as a true Grande Dame of the Cape that was built in or around 1815.

Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty’s Nina Smith and Helen Hoare, say the property sold for its asking price of more than R15 million on the first day of going on the market.

”This is one of the highest sale amounts ever in Newlands for a residential property,” says Smith. She says while certain aspects of the property have been modernised to include things such as a swimming pool, it demonstrates the desirability of heritage elements for discerning buyers.

Smith’s partner in Newlands, Cyndy Minnaar, says the majority of buyers are seduced by the graciousness and grand proportions of the larger homes or quaintness of the period cottages. Original fireplaces, high ceilings, as well as any other original features all add to the saleability of a property.

Lew Geffen, chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says whether buyers want a contemporary masterpiece with excellent views from high on the slopes of Upper Fernwood, a cosy cottage in the historic Newlands Village area or a comfortable family home in the leafy avenues of Hiddingh Estate, the Newlands suburb caters for all tastes.

Smith says they are still experiencing a shortage of stock, and both the historic and new property markets are affected. This stock shortage has been driving prices up.

The average sale price of properties in Newlands this year is R5.13 million, and the vast majority have been sold within a month of listing. The average difference between list and sale prices in the suburb is around 5 percent.

“Newlands has seen sustained high demand from family buyers wanting access to top schools and an easy commute to the Cape Town CBD. It’s a suburb with fantastic amenities and entertainment and prices in the area will continue to rise.”

Minnaar says one of the other attractions of properties in Newlands is erf size. That and the proximity of sought-after schools such as SACS and Westerford have prompted many families with young children to buy in Newlands.

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