Cape Town’s 'academic belt' is a first rate property investment area

The sectional title property market in the Cape Town suburb of Rondebosch and its surrounding areas (Rosebank, Newlands, Observatory, Claremont and Kenilworth) have proved to be one of the best performers in the entire South African property sector, says John Birkett of the Rawson Property Group.

1 Bedroom Apartment for sale in Rondebosch

Birkett has specialised in this market since 1999 and for most of his career has been among the top performers in the Rawson Property Group. In November 2012, he opened the Rawson Rentals Metro Classic office serving the same market.

A severe shortage of stock halfway through 2013 did, says Birkett, dampen the market for a time, but since October 2013 the sales tempo has once again picked up noticeably. He and Steve de Villiers, his selling partner, sold 21 apartments in a price range of R650,000 to R2,5 million in the last three months of 2013 and this year a similar rate of sales is being achieved. Typically, he says, an available unit will be snapped up within two to three months of coming onto the market.

Rondebosch, says Birkett, has been the focus of the strongest demand and old units, some dating back to the mid-1900s, have proved almost as popular as the new ones, many of which have recently been developed by Rawson Developers

The strongest demand, he says, has been for units in the The Rondebosch, Rondebosch Oaks, River’s Edge, River Song, Albion Place, Edingight, Devonshire Hill, Rusdon Park and Salwood Court.

The buyers here, says Birkett, are mostly the parents of students (or in some cases the students themselves) studying at UCT or buy-to-let investors capitalising on the student market.

4 Bedroom House for sale in Claremont

They are attracted by the convenient position of these apartments in relation to UCT and, perhaps more importantly, by two further factors: high capital appreciation rates (at The Rondebosch, completed only 13 months ago, a two bedroom unit that sold originally for R1,6 million was recently resold for R2,5 million) and by very satisfactory rentals.

Bachelor flats in the area are now rent at anything from R4,900 to R8,000 per month, one bedroom units at R6,500 to R9,000, two bedroom units from R8,000 to R13,000 and three bedroom units from R9,000 to R15,000.

“The demand is always strongest close to the opening of the new academic year,” says Birkett, “but no property stays empty even if it comes onto the market later in the year. Rawson Rentals Metro Classic has signed 175 leases since we opened our doors in 2012 and we see this success rate continuing.”

To succeed in this business, adds Birkett, an agent must have in-depth, well researched knowledge of the market and he must be trained to achieve the best possible price for his client. He must also, however, ensure that the landlord is offering a quality product in good condition. The agent must always be prepared to “go beyond” the normal duties expected of him.

“If these basic rules are adhered to,” says Birkett, “it is possible that the client and agent will have longstanding relationships. We have some clients who have not only given us their rental portfolios but have bought as many as ten units through us.”

Rawson Rentals Metro Classic operates from The Rondebosch itself and the continual letting activity, which Birkett predicts will eventually overtake the sales side, leads to on-going new sales mandates. Prices, he forecasts, will rise steadily for the simple reason that UCT, which receives some 20,000 applications for accommodation each year, can only provide for 6,500 students on campus. The remainder of the students have to fend for themselves and find accommodation elsewhere.

His office, says Birkett, is fielding more than ten enquiries for rentals each day and almost an equal amount of enquiries for urgent buyers.

“We now need more bachelor, one, two and three bedroom flats as well as houses with multiple rooms,” says Birkett. “Stock is in very short supply at the moment.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 21 Jun 2018
      Anyone who’s ever been involved in a building project that’s gone wrong will appreciate the importance of adequate insurance cover in the construction industry.
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A recent news story about a blind tenant caught in a legal battle with his body corporate over letters and notices he was unable to read and consequently comply with has raised the question: what are the legal obligations for landlords with disabled tenants?
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A trend that’s taken the world by storm in recent years is that of hygge (pronounced: hue-guh), a Danish concept that is about creating intimacy, connecting with loved ones and taking pleasure in small, ordinary things.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      Buying or selling real estate isn’t as easy as it is portrayed sometimes, especially if there is a death of a party during the transaction which can make it awkward, tricky and inconvenient.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      With interest rates remaining at historic lows and banks continuing to compete for mortgage finance business, first-time buyers with funds at their disposal are currently well-placed to gain that initial foothold on the property ladder, particularly in the light of the slightly lower growth rates currently experienced in residential property values.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      The average size of bond granted in SA has grown 7,7% in the past 12 months to R934 000, according to BetterBond, the country’s biggest bond originator.
    • 19 Jun 2018
      In the current market, letting out a property can be a good option as rental demand remains strong, especially in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. This is according to Chris Renecle, MD of Renprop. However he says that before homeowners let their property out, there are five key points they should make sure are covered before they market the property for rent and sign any lease agreements.
    • 19 Jun 2018
      The Capetonian dream is to live by the ocean with the iconic mountain making an appearance somewhere in the horizon. But, that dream comes with a hefty price tag that many simply cannot afford. But, should you venture some kilometres out of the city centre, entirely new realms of beachside bliss await you …
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us