Nestled on the sloping foot of Table Mountain, neatly tucked between Devils Peak and Lions Head, lies one of Cape Town’s most eclectic city suburbs – Gardens. Well-known for its Victorian architecture and vibrant, trendy lifestyle, Gardens has long been a favourite with affluent, young professionals and fashionable city-lovers.
This unique neighbourhood’s charms aren’t limited to the young, alone, however, and its unusually broad appeal has seen it become one of the City Bowl’s most sought-after neighbourhoods for property investment.
“Gardens is in the rare position of being ideally located for work, school and leisure,” says Alisdair Crofton, the Rawson Property Group’s Cape Town CBD franchisee. “It’s minutes away from the city centre, has its own host of restaurants, boutiques, shops and nightlife, and is within walking distance of the Table Mountain Nature Reserve and a five-minute drive from the Atlantic Seaboard’s beautiful beaches. It’s also minutes away from some of Cape Town’s most highly-regarded schools, including Herzlia, St Cyprian’s and Deutsche Schule Kapstadt.”
On top of its wide array of amenities and conveniences, Gardens’ properties themselves also contribute to the suburb’s popularity, offering not only typical city-style apartments, but also freehold houses of surprisingly varied size and style.
“Properties in Gardens are just as diverse as its residents,” says Crofton, “and you can find anything from a studio apartment to a Victorian semi to a sprawling family villa on a lush, tree-lined stand overlooking the city. That makes it ideal not only for students and young professionals, but also families with children of all ages.”
According to Crofton, this diverse appeal is an important part of what makes Gardens so attractive to property investors.
“Prices are always driven by demand,” he explains, “and because Gardens appeals to such a wide range of residents, demand is consistently high. As a result, we’re seeing capital appreciation of as much as 20% per annum on some properties – that’s an exceptional return on investment, particularly in today’s economic climate.”
Of course, with price growth as high as that, it’s not cheap to get a foot on the Garden’s property ladder, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything listed for under R1.5 million.
“Apartments tend to fetch anything from R30 000/m2 to R42 000/m2,” says Crofton, “while a semi-detached Victorian with a small garden would cost between R8 million and R15 million. Properties in Higgovale are the most expensive, being the most spacious with exquisite views, and range from R10 million to over R30 million depending on size and outlook.”
While capital appreciation is certainly significant, it’s far from the only way to profit from property investment in Gardens, however. Crofton describes a very strong rental market in the area, including short-term letting through platforms like Airbnb.
“With so many student facilities in and around the city, and so many people working in the area, long-term rental properties are naturally in high demand,” he says. “More and more, however, we’re seeing owners leveraging Gardens’ excellent proximity to Cape Town’s top attractions and nightlife for short-term letting, which is proving to be an extremely profitable – if more seasonal – venture.”
Given the extraordinary opportunities available in the area, it will come as no surprise that stock in Gardens is extremely limited, and Crofton advises anyone interested in investing to contact an agent who is active and experienced in the area.
“Properties move quickly, and the best ones often never even make it to online platforms,” he says. “That makes it very important to be on a good real estate agent’s radar, so that they can look out for a property that fits your needs, and get you in early if you’d like to make an offer.”
“If you are lucky enough to find the Gardens property of your dreams,” he continues, “you’d be well advised to leap at the opportunity. There are very few suburbs that offer the same combination of lifestyle and long-term financial benefits, and investment in the area could be the best choice you ever make.”