Although it has been regularly reported in the property media, many Capetonians are still unaware just how much residential development has taken place in central Cape Town and the City Bowl in the last two decades, nor do they realize just how many people have ‘migrated’ to this area to live here permanently. What is more, the trend continues today, albeit at a slower pace, and shows absolutely no signs of being discontinued.
These comments were made recently by Alisdair Crofton, formerly General Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s Sea Point franchise, but recently appointed as residential franchisee for the Cape Town CBD. Crofton’s new franchise began operating on 1st August.
“It has been estimated,” said Crofton, “that around 3,000 sectional title units have come onto the market as the result of development or upgrading in the CBD and City Bowl in the last 20 years. Many of these have been well known projects such as The Icon, Cartwright’s Corner and Wembley Square. However, there have been many others which never really hit the headlines but provide just as satisfactory accommodation today.”
The swing to urban living, said Crofton, is logical for three main reasons: the first is the huge time and cost savings that accrue to those who, by living close to the city centre, eliminate daily commuting from their lives. In the many cases, he said, the petrol savings alone come to over R2,000 per month. The second reason for the swing to this type of lifestyle is the fact that many of the new developments have incorporated world class facilities such as indoor swimming pools, gyms, entertainment areas, as well as bistros and cafés. These, he said, make it possible for residents to enjoy themselves two or three nights a week without actually leaving the premises. The third reason for the swing, said Crofton, is the wonderful tourist-related hospitality and entertainment facilities that are now offered throughout the city and its peripheral areas.
“People fly from all over the world to enjoy these facilities,” he said. “Those living in the City Bowl can make use of them at any time as and when they like.”
The Rawson Property Group, said Crofton, is determined to give a more thorough service in this residential market – hence their decision to sell a new franchise that complements their existing franchise which has focused mainly on City Bowl and CBD rentals thus far.
“The big advantage of this residential market,” said Crofton, “is that it is very diverse and therefore suited to all income groups. We can offer buyers anything from a R750,000 bachelor pad in Vredehoek to a R16 million penthouse or home in Higgovale or Tamboerskloof. We can also offer homes which have greater security and better finishes than many of the freestanding homes in the suburbs.”
With the demand so strong in the City Bowl and the CBD, his aim, said Crofton, is to focus on the R1,5 million to R2,5 million bracket and here, he said, the value often compares very favourably with similarly fitted units on the Atlantic Seaboard or in more expensive southern suburbs.
Crofton expects to be selling one property per week by October and his plan is to find five experienced residential agents to bump up the numbers and expertise available on his team.
The territory in which he will be operating as a residential franchisee includes: Gardens, Tamboerskloof, Higgovale, Oranjezicht, Vredehoek, the Foreshore, Bo-Kaap, the CBD itself and sections of Salt River.