Advice and Opinion

City of Cape Town’s innovative affordable housing plans welcomed

Helicopter view of Cape Town
A helicopter's view of Cape Town.

Pam Golding Properties welcomes the City of Cape Town’s plans to provide affordable housing opportunities that will help to create a more inclusive city. “Affordable housing is critical for the realisation of our vision of Cape Town as a thriving, integrated and cosmopolitan hub that is on a par with global cities such as New York and Sydney,” says Richard Day, Pam Golding Properties National General Manager and Cape Regional MD.

The city’s commitment to providing these housing opportunities follows international trends seen in cities such as London and the Netherlands, where local authorities have introduced innovative plans to ensure more communities are able to afford homes closer to their work and other amenities.

“Research by Savills, Pam Golding Properties’ strategic partner, shows that demographics and the supply of land or housing are among the key factors that drive a property market. As such, it is imperative that Cape Town is able to provide adequate housing for its population, which in the last decade alone has increased by more than 50%”, says Day. Added to this is the fact that about two-thirds of South Africans are under the age of 34, typically the age at which people buy their first home. “We have to do all that we can to ensure there are homes available for these buyers wanting to enter the property market.”

Although the Pam Golding Properties (PGP) index shows a national house price inflation of just 4.5% during the first half of the year, Cape Town’s property market remains robust with a price growth of 11.8% during the first quarter.

“Cape Town’s resilience despite the country’s economic slowdown is encouraging, but the long-term sustainability of this property market depends on positive activity across all segments,” says Day. “We are seeing in the Western Cape that much of the positive market activity is fueled by the lower price band, where inflation in house prices of less than R1 million was 15% during the first half of the year.”

The City of Cape Town says there has been unprecedented growth in the property market in areas close to key nodes of employment and along transport routes. Ongoing semigration, as buyers move from Gauteng and other provinces to the Western Cape, has also inflated property prices in the region, says Day. “It’s therefore becoming increasingly important to ensure that affordable housing is available in growth areas for middle-income homeowners. Innovative housing solutions and inclusive spatial planning will make it possible for more communities to have access to these opportunities.”

It’s encouraging too that the City wants to provide housing in all the central business districts – such as Bellville, Claremont and Wynberg – and not just the CBD, Woodstock and Salt River, notes Day. “In Toronto, for example, one of the most successful urban regeneration projects there includes a mixture of housing types, tenures, income groups and mixed retail and commercial offerings.” He adds: “If done properly, and with the backing of the private sector and developers, the City of Cape Town’s plan is an exciting opportunity to reconfigure our urban landscape; to create an inclusive and thriving global city for all.”