Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs are often all seen as very similar by those who aren’t familiar with them. Contrary to this rather misguided opinion, however, the Northern Suburbs of today cater to an impressive variety of lifestyles and languages, and are becoming even more diverse as time goes by, estate agents report.
Durbanville is generally considered to be one of the most upmarket suburbs in the Northern Suburbs, with large stands, luxurious homes, established trees and excellent amenities and schools. According to Louis Schoeman, Rawson Property Group’s Durbanville franchisee, however, that doesn’t mean it’s only well-off, established families living in the area.
“One of Durbanville’s biggest assets is the fact that it offers something for all ages, cultures and lifestyles,” he says. “We have buyers of all kinds, from 18 to 80 years old, looking to join our relaxed, multilingual communities. Our most popular market segment is still medium to large family homes between R2,5m and R3,5m, but our apartments, townhouses and estates are definitely in demand as well.”
Typical prices in Durbanville range from R650,000 to R1,3m for apartments, R1,3m to R7m for townhouses and R2,3m to R20m for freestanding homes. “We are at the upper end of the market in general,” says Schoeman, “but the range of property types means there are opportunities for everyone.”
On the other side of the N1 from Durbanville lies another extremely popular northern suburb with a more affordable range of properties, attracting an equally diverse selection of residents.
“Bellville has a lot of really loyal residents,” says Emil Weiss, franchisee of the Rawson Property Group’s Bellville Oakdale franchise. “It’s not unusual to find property owners who have lived here virtually their whole lives. With new buyers, however, we’re seeing a lot of younger people from various races and cultures moving in.”
Morne Veer, franchisee at the Rawson Property Group’s Bellville franchise, agrees with Weiss’ assessment of the evolving Bellville demographic. “The last 10 years have seen our typical buyer changing, as people from all walks of life are catching on to the benefits of the Bellville lifestyle. We’re extremely central, with easy access to great schools, shopping centres and freeways, and we have some of the best value for money properties in Cape Town. The opportunity to modernise our older Fiftys-style homes is also very attractive to a lot of buyers, although real fixer-uppers are rare on the market these days.”
The most popular price points in the Bellville area, according to Weiss, begin at R350,000 to R1,1m for sectional title and townhouse complexes, with single residential properties seeing the most action in the R1,2-2m band. “Properties below Voortrekker Road are available from as little as R250, 000,” says Weiss, “and are in high demand all the way up to R1,2m for single residences.”
“The mid-range market is the most active in Bellville at the moment,” adds Veer, “with most buyers looking for at least three bedrooms and secure parking for more than one car. Granny flats are also extremely popular, and homes with renovation potential fly off the shelf.”