Moving metros – Does Cape Town fit your pocket?
The Cape is witnessing the highest volume of net migration compared with the rest of the country, with buyers flocking there on an almost weekly basis. This is according to Seeff chairman, Samuel Seeff, who says much of the reason for its popularity is due the lifestyle offerings of the metro as well as the fact that it consistently ranks top of the class in administrative and financial management.
“This is a key driver of the demand for relocations to the city,” he says. “Even the Garden Route area is reporting an influx of buyers from other provinces looking to settle in the area. George for example has reported up to 170 families per month.”
Cape properties are on average 20% to 40% more expensive than Johannesburg and Pretoria, so what can upcountry buyers expect to pay for a like-for-like home and where can they be found?
Making the move
For potential upcountry buyers and tenants, the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town are where you should start your search – thanks to the many excellent schools and a wide array of top-class amenities.
So what can you get for R750,000 and up?
“In this price range, one can buy a studio or older one bedroom apartment in areas like Mowbray and Observatory which are close to town and near the University, as well as in Wynberg if you are lucky enough to still find one,” says Barbara Manning, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty area specialist in Upper Claremont and Bishop’s Court. “For R1,2m one can buy an older studio or one-bedroom flat in Claremont, Wynberg or Rondebosch, or a two-bedroom flat in Rosebank/Observatory.
“In the R3m-plus price range are modern two and three bedroom flats in areas like Rondebosch and Claremont, as well as compact three-bedroom houses in Rondebosch which can still be found for between R3,2m and R3,8m. Lynfrae still offers excellent value compared to most of its neighbours and older houses in need of a little TLC start at around R3m.”
For R750,000 you can snap up a two-bedroom flat of between 60m² and 80m² in the northern suburbs of Cape Town between the N1 and Voortrekker Road in Tygerberg, which includes areas like Goodwood, Parow and Bellville.
This is according to Francois Venter, director of Jawitz Properties, who says further north, in Kuilsriver, you would be able to get a home in the older areas, which would comprise of two to three bedrooms on a small erf in areas like Highbury, Summerville, Sarepta, Jagtershof and Vredelust. “It is a very popular price range and properties don’t stay on the market for long,” he says. “In fact most of the time, homes like this are sold within just hours, or after only a few days.”
A price of R750,000 can buy a two-bedroom flat in suburbs like Strand or Gordon’s Bay, whereas sister suburb, Somerset West, is more expensive. And don’t even bother looking at the Atlantic Seaboard.
If you’ve got slightly deeper pockets, a budget of R1,2m will buy you an old three-bedroom house with a single garage in Goodwood, while you’ll get an even better house in Bellville for the same money.
“This is an equally popular price bracket in the Helderberg (Somerset West, Strand) where you will be able to find two- and three-bedroom houses for around R1,2m,” he says, noting that R3m will pay for three-bedroom apartments on Beach Road in Strand, while Gordon’s Bay properties start from R3m on the mountain side. “You should also be able to find more favourable properties in Somerset West from R3m.”
Keeping the pocket happy
Tableview and Parklands is among the most affordable areas in Cape Town, and is only about five minutes away from Blouberg’s beaches. The suburbs boast excellent schools, a new mega mall being built in the area, shops, services, restaurants, two top-class private hospitals, parks and greenbelt areas, and the MyCiti bus system. “You seldom have to leave the area over weekends as you have everything you need right on hand,” says Seeff, noting that R750,000 will bag you an older two-bedroom flat, R1,2m an older house, and from R1,6m-plus plenty of stunning family homes.
For upcountry professionals wishing to rent, Century City should be a serious contender. Rentals start at about R12,000 for two-bedroom units. This is according to Christa von Moltke of Pam Golding Properties Blouberg which operates from Century City, Milnerton, Table View to Melkbosstrand.
“In Sunset Beach/Links, an upmarket area with family homes, rentals start from R25,000, Table View from less than R15,000 to R35,000-plus, while Parklands has various apartment blocks and houses where R6,500 rents a two-bedroom apartment – houses range between R15,000 to R22,000 per month,” she says. “Sunningdale is the fastest developing area and is extremely popular with first-time buyers and young families. Prices range from R15,000 to R18,000-plus per month. Melkbosstrand used to be a holiday destination which has changed to an area much sought after due to its country feel. Rentals range from R7,000 for a two-bedroom apartment to R15,000 for three-bedroom homes.”
In the popular Southern Suburbs a monthly rental budget of R5000 will snap up a studio or an older one-bedroom flat in Mowbray, Rosebank and Observatory, while R6,000 to R9,000 will rent the same in Rondebosch or Claremont.
“A budget of R10,000 to R18,000 pays for a modern two- to three-bedroom apartment in Claremont, Rondebosch, Newlands,” says Manning, noting that house rentals in the Southern Suburbs start at around R20,000 per month. “For up to R30,000 you can rent a lovely family home in Rondebosch and parts of Claremont and Newlands.
“In Upper Claremont and Upper Kenilworth prices spike to R38,000 for a four-bedroom home in Hen and Chicken Estate in Upper Claremont, to around R45,000 and R50,000 for an older home in Bishopscourt. At the top end of the market in these areas, rentals range between R85,000 to R100,000.”
On the Atlantic Seaboard, you cannot rent anything for R5,000 per month, says Venter, noting that R10,000 per month could get you a one- or two-bedroom Sea Point apartment “Some R15,000 could get you a two- to three-bedroom apartment,” he says. “It is only from R16,000 and up (emphasis on the up) that you could look to renting a freestanding home.”
Everyone needs good neighbours
If you’re sorted on price, the next question is how well are these suburbs managed and who can you anticipate will be your neighbours?
“In Goodwood, for example, sellers are currently getting good prices and the buyers in this market are often younger couples who tend to renovate the older houses into more beautiful, modern homes,” says Venter, noting that in Kuilsriver the council recently spent a lot of money on paved traffic circles. “Suburbs are all well managed in the Helderberg, and on the Atlantic Seaboard, where residents and businesses alike are very happy with the way council runs things.
“The upgrade to Sea Point’s beachfront, for example, has been excellent, with buyers including locals who are upgrading as well as young families semigrating from Joburg. In Green Point, for example, the area is becoming quite attractive to young professionals and safety and street maintenance have improved quite substantially.”
In the south Manning says the local councillor in Upper Claremont is involved in the area and new owners are predominantly young families due to the proximity to schools. “The area is very convenient and extremely popular, and people tend to stay put,” she says. “New shops and shopping areas are always being developed while parks in Rondebosch, Newlands and Claremont are well maintained and regularly upgraded.”