Since starting a new Rawson Rentals franchise in January this year to handle rentals across the Cape Metro area (but focusing on the central Cape Peninsula Southern Suburbs), Irwin Heinrich has negotiated leases on almost 60 properties and his three man team is managing over 30 of these on behalf of the landlords.
“As so many Cape Peninsula estate agents have been saying recently,” commented Heinrich, “we are in a situation where most of us could double our turnover within one month if the stock was available – but it is very hard to come by. This is today, therefore, very much a landlord’s market as they are able to get 10 to 12% increases when signing on new tenants and it is perfectly acceptable these days to have a 10% escalation clause in all lease agreements.”
Kenilworth, Claremont and Rondebosch, said Heinrich, are now especially sought after, but the demand is almost equally strong in the suburbs surrounding them.
“Typically,” he said, “a three or four bedroom house in Kenilworth or Claremont will bring in a rent of R15,000 to R20,000 or more per month, while in Lower Claremont, i.e. below the Main Road, or the outlying Rondebosch, Rosebank and Lower Kenilworth precincts rents of R15,000 to R18,000 per month for a three bedroom home are quite standard.”
The smaller units, added Heinrich, are particularly profitable for landlords because of the huge student population living here. A one bedroom Upper Rondebosch unit, for example, can rent out at R6,000 to R8,000 per month – and even higher rentals have been achieved.
Buy-to-let investors, said Heinrich, are aware that this is a good wicket on which to be batting and are today always on the lookout for apartments. Such buyers, he added, expect top service levels from their rental agents, who are also kept on their toes by the competent competition operating throughout the area. It has been said that the central suburbs give employment to no less than 300 estate agents altogether.
Will these boom-like conditions continue? Heinrich foresees absolutely no slacking off in demand in the year ahead and very little inclination among his clients to look elsewhere, even when they find the rents high.
“It has to be said that the central suburbs, with their well-established ambience and their regularly maintained attractive older homes, some going back to the 1950s and 1960s, have an appeal that is hard to resist. Those living here generally have no wish to be anywhere else and those living elsewhere often see these suburbs as the place to be.”