House prices

This is not a comment on the crazy prices for property in Cape Town. Even with ‘semigration’, the Mountain, those beaches, dem winelands and the fact that it’s not in Gauteng, those property prices in Cape Town are crazy.

But, like I said, that’s not what this post is about.

This is a post about me wondering how the people who come up with those house prices, come up with those house prices. And here’s the property that prompted it, sent to me earlier this morning.

Now, before we go any further, I know that once this house is sold, it will disappear from the internet. So here’s a screenshot, in case you’re reading this in 2022 or something.

Again, I’m not commenting on whether the price quoted makes this a great deal or a complete rip-off. How much do you charge for interior features like “House Levels”, anyway?

No. I’m commenting on the selling price.

How did they arrive at that figure? (It’s about $235,000 or £178,000 for you uitlanders, by the way.)

It’s basically got to be a disagreement between the houseowner and the agent, hasn’t it?

The estate agent felt that R3,250,000 would be a reasonable place to start, only to be told by an indignant owner that they wanted it on the market for R3,400,000 “and not a penny less!”.

How would that conversation have panned out? Well, the estate agent will have surely have pushed back…

“But no-one will look at it if we put it on at R3,400,000. It’s too high. Believe me, I’m an expert in this property market.”

“No-one will look at it?!?! It’s got 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a kitchenette which could easily be converted to a full kitchen on the lower level and a well appointed kitchen and scullery on the upper level. That’s 1½ kitchens, mate. One. And. A. Half. Kitchens. R3,400,000.”

“Hmm. The kitchen thing is good, yes. How about R3,300,000 then?”

“OK. I’ll meet you halfway. R3,350,000. Not a penny less!”

“Well, a lot of people on our website actually search for properties which are less than R3,333,333, because they simply can’t be arsed to move their finger from the 3 key once it’s there. Marketed at R3,350,000, your property won’t be in those searches. And fewer views means less chance of selling. How about R3,325,000?”

“How about R3,330,000?”

“How about R3,327,500?”

“Well… OK then. But it’d better sell quickly.”

“I’m sure it will, it’s a great property.”


“I’m sorry, what?”


I don’t want to buy this house. It’s ugly and it has too much kitchen space.
And it’s got a weird price tag.