Regular comments in the property media and elsewhere extolling the virtues of City Bowl living are gaining strength year-by-year. What 20 years ago seemed initially to be a slightly quirky preference by a relatively small number of people to live close to the city is now a strong desire among thousands of Capetonians subjected to long waits in traffic on their way to and from work in the CBD every day.
This is the view of Andre Geldart, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for the City Bowl. In the rental field Geldart now operates from Tokai to Camps Bay, having acquired the rental franchises of several other Rawson franchises, but, he said, the City Bowl is still the area of greatest demand.
“Ninety percent of the units that we rent out in the City Bowl are sectional title and almost without exception we can find a tenant for them if they become vacant in two weeks or less,” he said.
Bachelor pads, said Geldart, rent from R4,000 per month, one bedroom units from R5,500 and two bedroom units from R7,000.
City Bowl freehold houses, he said, can now rent at anything from R16,000 to R30,000 per month.
All these homes, he said, are seeing annual rental rises of 6 to 8%.
Tony Clarke, the Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, has on several occasions stressed how important it is for rental agents to be in contact with their landlords and, in particular, send them regular monthly statements.
Homes for sale in the Cape Town City Bowl, said Geldart’s second in command, Karl Merckel, are even harder to find than rental properties. Those who live here in general have no intention of leaving and with almost no new developments being erected (except in Vredehoek and soon Tamboerskloof), the bulk of City Bowl houses for sale are now priced from R2,2 million (with some on Rawson City Bowl’s books priced from as high as R12 million to R19 million). Sectional title units in the City Bowl now sell from R1,1 million to R4,6 million and at the moment are rising at around 10% per annum.
This Rawson Property Group franchise has just sold a Sisters of The Holy Cross property in Zonnebloem (District Six) on which there are six cottages, all over 80 years old with many Victorian features such as broekie lace filigree iron work and vertically sliding sash windows. The property qualifies as a heritage site and the accepted price was R2,125,000.
The turnover of the Rawson City Bowl franchise was one of the group’s franchises which increased their turnover by over 30% last year and, said Geldart, in view of the demand he is experiencing, a similar rise is likely in the year ahead.
“In all honesty one simply has to advise people to buy here and now this is about as sound and safe a property investment as can be found anywhere in South Africa today,” said Geldart.