Pretoria student accommodation – haven for independent investors
South African universities are only able to accommodate about 20% of their 530,000 students in official residences. This number does not include those students studying at technology universities, colleges, and other tertiary education institutions that do not have proper accommodation.
Some of the 80% of students without a spot in a formal residence will of course be staying at home while others may be living in student flats owned by one of the growing number of corporate players in South Africa’s student accommodation sector.
This still leaves significant opportunity for private investors to offer student accommodation, believes Bertie Lombard, the Rawson Property Group’s Waterkloof franchisee, who said that Pretoria specifically hold great potential, explaining that most of this demand has been centred in Hatfield due to the suburb being directly adjacent to the University of Pretoria campus.
In Hatfield, depending on the size and location of flats, prices range from R550,000 for a studio unit to about R1m for a two bedroom unit.
Anne Rich, Rawson Property Group franchisee, said that the next most popular areas for student accommodation are Arcadia and Sunnyside. Rich believes that these areas are attractive due to the substantially lower rents while still having access to good shopping and public transport facilities. Apartments for sale in these areas range from R250,000 for a one bedroom flat to R600,000 for a three bedroom flat.
In the Hatfield area rentals start from R3,000 for a room in shared apartments to R10,000 for a two bedroom flat. While rentals in the Arcadia/Sunnyside area start at R1,850 for a room to R7,500 for three bedroom units or R9,500 for newly built two bedroom units.
Suburbs such as Brooklyn, Lynnwood, Equestria, and Queenswood is also increasing in popularity, with rentals ranging from R3,200 a month for a room in communes, to R4,500 for a one bedroom garden cottages or garden flat.