Buyers put down long-term roots in Rondebosch

The leafy suburb of Rondebosch in Cape Town is almost synonymous with the concept of high-quality education - and Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that this remains one of its most important factors when it comes to attracting residential property buyers.  

Lightstone property data indicates that around 60 percent of current Rondebosch residents have lived in the suburb for more than 11 years – an indication that many buyers are committing to the area for the duration of their children’s education and beyond.

PGP agents Pearl Sparks and Robin Midgley say the number of schools on offer is quite remarkable, given the geographical size of the suburb.  “There are 13 primary and high schools in Rondebosch itself, and another seven in neighbouring suburbs whose catchment areas extend into Rondebosch,” they say.  “There is something to suit every need, from government to private schools, single sex and co-ed institutions, as well as schools offering special needs programmes.  There is also a good supply of pre-schools and kindergartens, a segment of schooling which is badly under-serviced in some other parts of the city.  And of course the suburb is home to the acclaimed University of Cape Town.  Not only does the area offer volume and choice, but most importantly, it offers quality – three of the four top schools in the Western Cape, as per the provincial education department’s 2012 matric rankings, are located in Rondebosch.  With local schools becoming ever stricter about enforcing their catchment areas, the demand to live within the correct ‘zone’ to access these institutions is higher than ever, which in turn helps support property prices.”

And it’s not only families, students and young couples settling in Rondebosch – the agents add that the area also has a good selection of popular retirement villages, such as Woodside Village, Evergreen, Grosvenor Square and Fairmead Court, to name but a few.  “The reality is that those who love the suburb don’t ever have to leave,” they say.  “They can simply upscale and downscale as their lifestyle requirements change, staying close to the wealth of amenities they have come to enjoy, from sporting and medical facilities and convenient small shopping centres, to parks and places of worship.  Plus they never have to sacrifice the ease of living in such an accessible suburb, with quick access to the major freeways.  They call Rondebosch ‘the seven-minute suburb’ because it literally takes seven minutes or less to get to the city centre, the airport, Rondebosch Golf Course and major shopping centres – an advantage which cannot be underestimated given the rising cost of petrol.”

Freehold property in the suburb starts from around R1.5 million for an entry-level cottage, with the average family home costing around R3.5 million.  Top end prices currently range from R5 million to R7 million, although the record for the suburb is R9 million for a Victorian villa in Silwood Road, sold by PGP in February 2011.  In the sectional title market, one-bedroomed apartments can be purchased from around R750 000, ranging up to R1 million and more for two-bedroomed units, depending on the age and features of the building.

During the course of 2012, Sparks and Midgley sold a total of 22 full title homes in Rondebosch, at a combined value of over R92 million.  These included four sales over R5.5 million – and the three highest prices achieved by any agency last year, namely two deals at R7 million and another at R5.8 million (Source = Propstats.  These figures refer only to sales in Rondebosch “proper”, and exclude sales in Rondebosch Park Estate, Clarepark and other neighbouring areas).   PGP’s area manager for the Southern Suburbs, Howard Markham, says their success is hardly surprising, given their in-depth knowledge of the area.  “These two agents have a combined expertise of 67 years working in the Rondebosch area, so it’s no wonder they achieved 40 percent market share (of total value sold in 2012).  They are familiar with virtually every home in the suburb, and have probably sold most of them at some point over the past few decades - some of them six or seven times.  There is quite simply no replacement for experience and sound area knowledge.”

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