With Cape Town’s limited CBD space, increasing traffic congestion and unreliable public transport, it’s not surprising that more businesses are choosing to relocate to the suburbs. While some may fear this commercialisation could diminish residential property values in these neighbourhoods, in the case of Claremont, it seems the exact opposite may be true, say agents in the area.
“Claremont is one of Cape Town’s oldest residential neighbourhoods,” says Matthew Schrire, a sales agent for the Rawson Property Group’s Claremont franchise. “It’s always been a favourite for its wide range of properties, great schools and proximity to UCT, as well as its central location that makes it a short drive to almost anywhere in the city.”
According to Schrire, it’s these very same factors that have attracted the now significant commercial component to Claremont as well. “It’s a very convenient location in which to do business,” he explains, “especially if you live in the area too. People are definitely catching on to that fact, and we have existing residents relocating their businesses here, as well as employees looking for homes in the neighbourhood in order to be closer to work. The whole situation has created exceptionally high demand for properties of all types, and we’ve seen huge capital appreciation and rental growth over the last few years.”
In addition to the excellent growth, Claremont’s commercial hub also appears to have brought residential property investors and developers to the area in droves. “With the ongoing, high demand for property and the diversity of our residents – who include students, young professionals, established families and even retirees – Claremont has become prime territory for smart developers and investors,” says Schrire. “We constantly get approached by developers looking for old houses and vacant land on which to build, and we have a steady stream of buyers looking for Claremont properties to add to their rental portfolios.”
It’s far from just investors that are active on the Claremont market, however. “We have buyers of all ages and income levels,” says Schrire, “and properties to suit quite a broad range of budgets.”
Claremont Upper is considered the more elite part of the suburb, catering to wealthier buyers looking for more spacious and luxurious homes. “Freehold properties tend to have erven of around 900m2 and start at about R5m,” says Schrire. “Houses in complexes sell for similar prices, while townhouses can be found for R3m and up. Luxury apartments range from R1,5m to R6m.”
Lower Claremont offers some more affordable options. “Freehold houses in Lower Claremont start at about R2,5m, and sit on erven that average 600m2,” says Schrire. “There are complexes selling houses at R2,7m and up, and townhouses available for R1,8m or more. Apartments range from as little as R600,000 to R1,7m depending on size and location.”
Apartments remain the most popular property type in the area, as a whole, largely due to their relative affordability and excellent rental potential. Schrire has, however, noted a recent increase in demand for high-end, freehold properties as well. “There are definitely a number of successful business people moving into the area and looking for luxury homes, but we’re also seeing a lot of interest from foreign and upcountry investors,” he says. “This generally bodes well for the future, since buyers in higher income brackets are less affected by changes in tax, interest rates and transfer fees. We expect prices in Claremont to continue rising despite general economic pressures.”