At the Rawson Property Group’s Western Cape bi-annual awards (held recently at Grand West Casino), Terry Begemann, the rental partner of the Rawson Tyger Waterfront franchise, for the seventh year in succession, took the national prize for the most units let.
The Tyger Waterfront franchise is owned and managed by Paul Abbott and he testified recently that it took Begemann just over one year to find her feet in her new position (she had already had extensive property experience). Since then she has garnered more than 60 Rawson rental awards, a figure significantly higher than that of any other rental manager or agent in the Rawson Property Group.
This success, said Abbott, should be telling the general public something not only how adept Begemann is at her work but also just how sought after sectional title apartments in this area have become.
“There are,” said Begemann, “some 1,000 apartments in the Tyger Waterfront (of which we manage just under 200). By my estimate, 80% are owned by investors looking to rent them out. This may sound incredible to some, but right now there is not a single vacant apartment to be had here – the first to become available will be in August.”
This exceptionally strong demand, said Begemann, is pushing up rents by ± 8% per annum – and this includes those in which the leases are being renewed.
What is more, she said, as currently no new residential development is taking place (the massive nine storey building now rising on the north side of the Tyger Lake is for commercial space only), the current dire shortage of residential apartments is almost certain to continue.
Asked what is driving the strong demand, Begemann said that the Tyger Waterfront is conveniently sited in relation to both the Bellville and Cape Town CBDs (both within 15 minutes’ drive out of peak traffic hours) and in relation to the huge Tygerberg Hospital, the University of Stellenbosch’s Medical School and business centre as well as several major corporate headquarters, the Technical College and the IT College, all of which provide tenants. The big corporates in particular, said Begemann, tend to rent several furnished apartments for employees on transfer or short work visits.
All units overlooking the water are able to charge a premium on their rents, but in general, said Begemann, the average price for a single bedroom unit is now R5,500, two bedroom units rent out at ± R6,500 (up to R8,500 if the unit has two bathrooms) and R10,000 to R12,000 is the going price for penthouse apartments (most of which are two bedroom).
Stressing that no one should even contemplate becoming a rental agent if they are not prepared to work exceptionally long hours and are adept at administration, Begemann said that she and her two man team are especially careful with the selection of tenants. As a result, she said, in the eight and a half years she has been in her position, this franchise has been faced only four times with non-payments resulting in evictions.
Several commentators have said that the Tyger Waterfront is on its way to becoming the social and business hub of the Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, a serious rival to the Cape Town CBD. All the indicators, said Begemann, do in fact point this way.
“To take just one example,” she said, “ten to 12 years ago several of the restaurants that moved in here could not make a living. Now most are thriving and are often fully booked. That, I believe, reveals what is happening at this waterfront – no other precinct in the entire Northern Suburbs is as popular as this one, with the result that it has become a landlord’s haven.”