“While the southern suburbs of Cape Town are well known and sought after for their good schools, with some families choosing an area specifically because of the tradition of sending their children to certain schools, there are other areas in the greater Cape Town area that offer competitive schooling as well as better price options for housing”, says Nelio Mendes, marketing manager for IHPC estate agency.
One can understand the need to live five to ten minutes’ drive from a chosen school and have enough in the area in terms of amenities and sports facilities because parents these days often both work and have to split the driving and care between the two.
“Rondebosch and Newlands are suburbs in the forefront in terms of demand because of its proximity to reputable schools and UCT, and the prices of homes in these areas show just how sought after property is”, he said.
The average price of a freehold home in Rondebosch according to a Lightstone report on sales from March to May 2016, is R5,273 million. Homes in estates in Rondebosch will cost an around R4 million. The average for sectional title property is listed as R1,869 million (with these units often bought by investors or parents wanting their children to have a home close to UCT).
The average price of a freehold home in Newlands is listed as R6,145 million. If a property is in an estate in Newlands, the average price paid would be R4,55 million and sectional title property is selling at an average of R2,661 million (the same period as above, March to May 2016).
Pinelands is a good alternative for those who would like to live in the southern suburbs and want to be close to the same amenities that Rondebosch and Newlands have, but the schooling alternatives in Pinelands itself are very good, said Mendes. There are good state primary and high schools, as well as private schools – including a Waldorf school and a selection of pre-primary institutions.
Freehold houses in Pinelands cost in the region of R2,9 million. There is a marked difference between the prices of homes in estates, with the average being listed as R2,055 million, and sectional title, where the average price is just under R1 million.
“Many will underestimate what is to offer in the northern suburbs, however”, said Mendes, “and Table View and Sunningdale should not be discounted when considering buying a home for the family (or to cater for future family). Apart from state schools in both areas, there are private school groups that have opened campuses here to cover all age groups and these are drawing buyers to the area because of their reputations in offering excellent educations”.
Lightstone lists the average price of a freehold home in Tableview as R1,9 million and a home in an estate would cost approximately R1,139 million. Sectional title units would cost in the region of R1,1 million. Sunningdale, by comparison, does not have any sectional title units listed but only homes in estates and freehold property. A home in an estate would cost approximately R1,5 million and a freehold home around R1,6 million.
“The difference in bond repayments from a R3 million price bracket to R5 million is huge. A monthly repayment on a R3 million bond taken over 20 years at 10,5% interest is R26 956, and a R5 million bond repayment at the same rate over the same period is R44 927,” said Mendes. “This could be the tipping point between sending your child to a fantastic school or a mediocre one as you might not be able to afford both the high bond as well as private school. In some instances, it’s better to choose the school because of its offerings rather than going with tradition and choose an area that you will be able to purchase the housing space that is needed for a growing family.”