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Semigration driving Cape Town rental market

Rondebosch houseCape Town’s rental market is currently very buoyant, with data compiled by economists at Rode & Associates revealing that rental inflation for 2015 was 9.6%, while the national average rental inflation during the same period averaged 6%.

Lorraine Dellbridge, rentals manager for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Southern Suburbs, Noordhoek and False Bay, said, “Last year we saw a really sharp hike in rental rates in the Southern Suburbs; often unrealistic and unachievable.

“Although prices are still high, they have stabilised this year and we are finding that many landlords who start very high, generally come back to us within two or three weeks and ask us to drop the price.”

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The high rental price inflation has, however, seen tenants downscaling to cheaper areas to maintain their standard of living.

“In the face of rising costs, many families are opting to move to a suburb where they can rent a similar home for far less,” she said. “For instance, a modern four-bedroom home in Plumstead generally costs between R15,000 and R20,000 per month while a similar home in Constantia for less than R35,000 would be a rare find.”

Brendan Miller, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty Atlantic Seaboard CEO, said semigration was a big reason for high rental price inflation.

“The once-abundant supply of available rental stock has been dwindling for a number of years, fuelled to a large extent by the ever-growing influx of South Africans migrating to the Western Cape, the exponential increase in property prices, regular interest rate hikes and banks’ reluctance to lend money,” he said.

Di Pelman, rentals manager for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty on the Atlantic Seaboard, said: “There has been notable increase in requests for medium-term lets of up to 12 months, mainly from upcountry semigrants seeking temporary accommodation while their new homes are being built or they familiarise themselves with the city before deciding where to buy.”

Photo: This three-bedroom family home in Rondebosch is on the market for R3,375m.


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