There are "green shoots" appearing in the American property market and because they lead the world into the worldwide property slump, I would similarly expect the USA to lead the world out of it. I don't expect anything dramatic but hopefully a steady increase in 2013 will mean that by the start of 2014 we have experienced a significant improvement.
P.S. Message to Jawitz and Lew Geffen Sothebys :- I am currently available to register the R300 million property transfer.
Camps Bay's 'R300m mansion' under offer
Two offers have been made for a R300 million mansion in The Glen, Camps Bay - which, if sold, would be the highest price ever paid for a house in Cape Town and South Africa.
A foreigner and a South African "connected to politics" have put in offers for this R300 million Cape Town property.
Jawitz Properties director Francois Venter said one prospective buyer is foreign and has made an offer "in excess of R250 million" for the mansion.
The prospective buyer has until the end of the month to do a due diligence check on the property before committing to buy.
Venter said the second offer came from a South African "connected to politics", but would give no further details.
"It's difficult to confirm if R300 million is a good asking price for the mansion," said an estate agent who works in Camps Bay. "But it will create a buzz and you might get an ego buyer who has plenty of money."
When a story first appeared about the house on a specialist property news website in September, some readers reacted with disbelief and said the price tag was a marketing ploy. But property insiders say the property could well be worth that figure.
The house, known as "Enigma Mansion", is built on four erven on a combined plot of 7 130m², and is one of the most sought-after positions in the city.
The average size for an erf in Cape Town ranges from 500 to 1 500m², say estate agents. The norm for a two-bedroom flat, meanwhile, is only about 80m².
Jawitz, which shares a mandate for the house with Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty, boasts on its website that the mansion has "every possible luxury". This includes a specially designed Olympic-sized swimming pool and a 3D cinema.
The house also comes with a sauna, a "Balinese massage temple" and a tea temple, as well as winter, herb and vegetable gardens. Besides multiple garages, terraces and a staff cottage, there is a separate guesthouse on the spacious lawns.
If the house is sold, it would buck the trend of what Laurie Wener, managing director of Pam Golding in the Western Cape, says has been a slow time for houses priced over R10m on the Atlantic seaboard.
"Up to now the very top end has definitely been underperforming," she said.
While Andy Todd, principal of Seeff Properties for the southern suburbs, agrees that Cape Town's high-end property market was sluggish last year, he said that in general the property market has definitely improved. Turnover for Seeff in the southern suburbs has increased by more than 15 percent.
Todd said buyers were exhibiting less anxiety than in previous years. This has cased the Cape property market to first stabilise, then gradually start to grow again.
Danny Dreghorn, an estate agent from Dogon Group Properties, said the property market in Camps Bay had been showing positive growth in the past few months.
"We hit the bottom about the middle of last year."
He added that foreigners had stopped buying properties on the Atlantic seaboard about two years ago as the worldwide recession forced them to tighten their belts.
Since the middle of last year, however, growth had returned.