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Big things afoot for investors in Port Alfred

The Stenden SA university, which has its campus in the Eastern Cape town of Port Alfred, has announced plans to expand its student intake to about 1500 over the next couple of years, and this has given rise to an exceptional opportunity for property investors in the form of student flats that can also be used or let as holiday accommodation.

Heather Tyson, owner of the local Sotheby’s International Realty franchise, explains: “Stenden SA is a satellite campus of Stenden University in the Netherlands, and is currently the only Private Higher Education institution in this country that offers a three-year BCom degree in hospitality management.

“It will, however, be adding another degree course shortly and this will attract even more international students and students from all over SA – most of whom will need to find accommodation in Port Alfred during the academic year.

“And in response to this need, specialist student accommodation developers Russ and Amanda Brom of Thornbird Trade and Invest have launched Anchor Village, a new complex of three-bedroom, three-bathroom student flats to be built on a site just 500m from the Stenden campus. These fully-furnished units are selling at prices from just R867 000 and represent an excellent opportunity for investors.

“However, they will need to move fast as the first phase of 36 units is already almost sold out.”

She says that on demand, Stenden is prepared to sign lease contracts with the owners of the flats for 10 months of every year. During the other two months – December and January – the owners can either use the flats themselves or let them out through Sotheby’s International Realty or privately as holiday accommodation for an estimated R1000 a day. They are very close to the beach and the complex will also have excellent security with access control and off-road parking.

There may also be additional rental demand from 43 Air School, which is also based in Port Alfred and has just concluded a new flight training agreement with Boeing. This will make it the only SA aviation school to offer a comprehensive new international course designed to take prospective pilots from basic instruction all the way through to jet training and qualify them as a Boeing Next-Generation 737 First Officer.    

“For now though,” says Tyson, “term-time rentals for the Stenden students will be R2000 per room and levies will be R500 a month, and on this basis, investors can expect a return of at least 6,91% on their investment from the very first year.

“In addition, Thornbird has an excellent track record of similar developments for the student market in Grahamstown and we are confident that it will deliver a quality product.”

Anchor Village is being developed on a 2ha site, only 25% of which will be built on while the rest is left as a park-like setting with lawns, trees and shrubs as well as a pool and lapa for the use of residents. The development will start in the latter half of this year and Construction is due to start by he middle of this year and the first phase – three blocks of 12 units each – is expected to be ready for occupation in 2013.



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