By Vphilani Nombembe
Eighteen properties, including a national monument, went under the hammer at an auction packed with 250 potential buyers in Cape Town yesterday.
One of the properties, snapped up for R8.25-million, was Heritage House in the CBD, which has been described as a national monument and an “architectural gem”.
The Edwardian building, commissioned by jeweller Isaac Mendelsohn around 1900, has served as an art gallery and housed shops.
Auctioneer Christian Stewart said about R220-million in property was on offer and bids were made on 15 properties. Within three hours of bidding, there were six confirmed sales.
Stewart said: “We are very encouraged by the turnout today. There were about 250 people, which means there is still strong interest in the commercial and industrial space. A lot of people who were on the sidelines last year re-entered the market and a lot of opportunities are coming by way of public auction.”
Kim Faclier, a property specialist with Alliance Group, which conducted the auction, said: “These are all willing sellers. They prefer the auction method because it is quick, efficient and effective.”
Other properties on auction included a 538m² piece of land in Clifton. With a beach view and overlooking the Twelve Apostles and Lion’s Head, it fetched R9-million.
Two other properties, currently being used as trendy cafés and within walking distance of the V&A Waterfont, sold for a combined R32-million.
A seven-storey building in Camps Bay fetched R26-million, a block of 11 flats in Vredehoek sold for R7-million, a retail space in Kenilworth went for R650000, and a proposed beachfront development in Hout Bay sold for R2.5-million.
Alliance chief executive Rael Levitt said the auction took place as the supply of houses countrywide in the past three months outstripped demand for the first time in six years.
“There is no doubt that sellers are rapidly becoming far more flexible,” Levitt said.