Wellington sees growing demand for student accommodation

When one thinks of student towns in the Western Cape, the Boland town of Wellington might not be the first to spring to mind.  

But thanks to the presence of a substantial campus of the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in the town, as well as the smaller Huguenot College, the student population is on the rise – and with it, demand for student accommodation. Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports that while there was previously very little demand for student-focused residential properties, that trend is changing noticeably – with demand growing from would-be residents as well as investors wishing to capitalise on student rentals.

?3 Bedroom House for sale in Wellington

The CPUT campus in Wellington is housed in historic buildings dating back to the 1800’s, and currently has over 2500 students enrolled in the faculties of Business, Applied Sciences, and Education and Social Sciences. The figure has grown by around five percent per year over the past few years, and is expected to accelerate into 2014 and beyond. Huguenot College meanwhile has nearly 350 students enrolled for 2014.

?1 Bedroom Flat for sale in Wellington

PGP agents Lynette Kannemeyer and Erika Odendaal say Wellington’s peaceful small-town atmosphere is conducive both to study and to a convivial social life. “The solid reputation of these institutions will continue to attract students to the town,” they say, “and as the student population grows, so too will the need for suitable accommodation. Investors can expect to earn steady rental income, with the demand being replenished every year as a new crop of students enrols. Parents might even wish to consider buying for their student children and then holding onto the properties for investment purposes after their own offspring have finished studying.”

?House for sale Wellington

The most sought-after student properties have ample accommodation which can be shared by several students, subject to applicable local government regulations on maximum occupancy. This option is viewed as a more secure, sociable and affordable option than students living alone. Good security features, the overall condition of the property and proximity to campus are other key factors which can influence rental returns and asking prices. “There is generally a shortage of student accommodation in the town,” say the agents, “and even flatlets attached to family homes are highly sought-after. In general, rental income of around R2500 per room can be achieved, or even more if the property is very close to campus or in particularly good condition. Those wishing to purchase can expect to pay around R1.5 million for a home with several bedrooms – for example, we sold an eight-bedroomed home in Murray Street earlier this year for R1.65 million, to an investment buyer.”

Investors wishing to capitalise on the student rental market may wish to view a home in Fontein Street which has recently come onto the market exclusively through PGP, priced at R1.48 million. The property is located within walking distance of the CPUT campus, in the buzzing heart of the student district. The main homestead has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a reception room, while a self-contained flatlet offers an additional bedroom. The well-maintained home occupies an erf of close to 450sqm, and has good security and off-street parking. 

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