A year ago, there seemed to be no end to Cape Town’s ever-rising tide of house prices. Trophy properties in posh Atlantic seaboard suburbs and the V&A Waterfront were reaching dizzy heights of up to R200,000/m². A price tag of R100m or more was no longer unusual in the likes of Bantry Bay, Fresnaye, Camps Bay and Clifton. Upcountry buyers were flocking in droves to the Western Cape — at an average relocation rate of 10 families a day, according to Wesgro figures. The search for a more relaxed lifestyle in scenic surrounds, backed by a general perception that the city is far better governed, under the DA, than other metros, fuelled a boom that made house prices in many sought-after areas of Cape Town double over the past five years. A strong increase in foreign tourist arrivals further supported housing demand in these areas — so much so that in 2016 a German couple was happy to fork out a staggering R290m for a Bantry Bay mansion. The sale set a new record for SA house prices. That’...

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