Cape Town’s central Southern Suburbs, home to UCT and at least seven of South Africa’s top ranked schools (SACS, Bishops, Herschel, Rustenburg, Rondebosch, Wynberg and St Georges Grammar School), have for some years now been among the most sought after residential property in the entire Greater Cape Town area, says George Hayes, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for Claremont.
The consequences of this on-going and strong demand, says Hayes, are that stock is increasingly difficult to find and price rises, though not spectacular as yet, have been steady and will continue to rise for the foreseeable future.
“In the last few months in particular,” says Hayes, “we have seen just how much prices are beginning to move upward. A two bedroom apartment which was sold recently was, we estimate, bought for approximately 30% more than when it was sold two years ago. Price appreciation is not usually quite on this level but certainly a steady upward movement can be seen throughout our area.”
In the central Southern Suburbs below the Main Road, says Hayes, the sectional title sector still enjoys the highest demand – and the reason for this, he says, is that at least 60% of the units here are used for student accommodation, the need for which has been spurred on by the fact that UCT, Damelin College and other tertiary institutions in the area can now provide either no accommodation at all or limited accommodation for their students and trainees. There is, therefore, a dire need for more student units to be found elsewhere – and any area within the range served by UCT’s free student transport, the Jammie Shuttle, will, says Hayes, be especially valuable.
Buy-to-let investors, says Hayes, are now very aware of the big demand for sectional title units and are coming back to this sector in large numbers – as they did in the past. This, he says, makes complete sense because in addition to capital growth, investors can, from day one, usually get a 5 or 6% rental return on their units.
“Many students these days are able to pay R3,000 per month for a single bedroom unit. This means that a two bedroom apartment can bring in R6,000 per month and a three bedroom unit R9,000 per month — rentals in the areas directly surrounding UCT can fetch an even higher price than these. As most of the sectional title developments in our area range in price from R500,000 to R2 million, the investment potential here is excellent.”
Conventional freehold property in his area, says Hayes, has also performed very satisfactorily in recent years, most of the homes being in the price range of R1,2 million to R3 million with, again, a few far higher priced. Any property coming onto the market at an accurate price below Main Road today, he says, will be snapped up within a fortnight and almost never stays on their stock lists longer than three weeks.
The Rawson Property Group, adds Hayes, is offering sellers who sign a sole mandate and conclude a successful sale, the chance to participate in a competition called Win Your Commission Back, the winner of which, decided on a lucky draw basis, will have up to R60,000 of the agency’s commission returned to him. Terms and conditions can be found on the Rawson Property Group’s website: www.rawson.co.za.
Hayes, with 21 years of service to the Rawson Property Group, is one of this group’s longest serving estate agents and in 1998 was one of the first to be offered a franchise, which he accepted and which has on several occasions been among the group’s best performers, both in the Western Cape and nationally.