Mother City’s CBD - the trendiest place to be

The centre of Cape Town, the CBD, is bubbling with all kinds of activity and has become one of the most desirable locations for buyers and visitors alike.  “There is solid investment opportunity here,” says Trudi van Wyk, Branch Manager of Jawitz Properties City Bowl. “And there is always something going on from new restaurants opening weekly to the popular Cape Town bred First and Third Thursdays events among others making the inner city the place to be.

“While it may not be the biggest CBD, the heart of the Mother City is the only CBD in South Africa that is desirable as a residential address,” van Wyk adds.

The average price for a sectional title apartment located here is currently R1.9 million comprising 1-2 bedrooms and one parking bay. “This is up by R300 000 compared to the average price year on year.”

Properties sell quickly as well with buyer demand remaining consistently high. “In 2014, we saw properties listed on average for 85 days but for this year to date, the average time they are listed before they sell is 47 days; basically halving the time it takes to sell,” van Wyk says.

“Listing price and selling price only differ, on average, by a meagre 4.9%. Sellers are getting the prices they want.”

You may wonder who is buying here. “Anyone from the very young to the older couple with a dog who have always lived close by. We generally see the under 35 year old’s most interested in living in the area but there is something for everyone,” van Wyk says. This year has seen City Bowl buyers mostly from local origin but foreign buyers are present from countries like the US and Canada, the UAE, Bahrain, the United Kingdom and European countries such as Ireland, Germany, France and Italy, as well as those from up-continent in Angola, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

A notable buyer trend is to purchase sectional title properties, specifically two-bedroom units and convert them into one-bedroom spaces marketable on travel sites like Airbnb. “This is a popular choice for investment buyers and a lucrative one. Visitors are prepared to pay more for a spacious one-bedroom apartment compared to a quaint two-bedroom unit,” van Wyk adds.

Currently marketed by Jawitz Properties and breaking the mould of the average property available for sale is an apartment in the Wellington Fruit Growers Building with the asking price of R4.695 million. “This property takes your breath away and yet with so much space (215m2) allows you to breathe; an effect magnified by the open air courtyard and roof deck.” This is luxury penthouse living at its best boasting views of the City and glorious Table Mountain and is of course within walking distance to all amenities.

The centrality of the CBD in general not only offers close proximity to shops or cultural entertainment a stone’s throw away in any direction, but also places residents close to work without having to drive. “Plus the MyCiTi bus route assists for the slightly further distances, or for those less inclined to walk.” But for those who do like a drive, the city centre provides easy access to Camps Bay and its beaches over the Kloof Nek mountain pass.

The city is also beautiful with colourful, quirky artworks pasted on to previously bland buildings, access to the historic Company Gardens and plenty of art galleries, museums, creative spaces and hang outs dotted with colourful, friendly locals. “There are so many options for a great meal be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and then even more for an artisanal coffee, or your favourite tipple.”

The city is safer than you may think. With the addition of CCID cameras and policing, fewer incidents take place and it’s generally safe to be in the city.

“Buyers looking to be part of arguably one of the best CBD’s in the world, let alone the country, can be sure it’s a worthwhile investment to buy here. Sellers who may be on the fence about leaving city life behind are encouraged to do so; there are plenty of buyers ready and waiting,” van Wyk concludes.

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