Strong demand for student apartments in Potchefstroom continues

As the first town within the former Republic of Transvaal, Potchefstroom in the North West Province lays claim to many firsts. 

It is said to be the first town to offer its residents Afrikaans and English-medium churches, it apparently had the first printing press, the first experimental farm, and interestingly, was the place where the first qualified teacher set up school.

The Hub - Student Housing Perspective

The city’s reputation as an educational environment has remained intact over the years, and today Potchefstroom is home to a number of tertiary education institutions, schools, as well as numerous research bureaus and training centres. Potchefstroom is well known for its North West University (NWU) campus, which has a history dating back more than a century and a longstanding track record for delivering high-quality graduates and conducting pioneering research.

Furthermore, Potchefstroom is known as the North-West Province's ‘Home of Sport’ and serves as the provincial headquarters for many sports associations. The town has also become a favourite training spot for both local and international athletes due to its altitude and relatively clean air as there is no industry nearby.

Chris Renecle, MD of Renprop, who says that the university had more than 20 000 students registered to study on campus during 2014. Currently around 75% of students are undergraduate students, meaning they will more than likely study at the university for a number of years to come. NWU’s Potchefstroom Campus only has approximately 5 000 beds to accommodate students within the university residences.

“The need for student apartments in Potchefstroom will continue to grow,” says Renecle. “The intake of students at the NWU Potchefstroom campus has escalated by 14% over the past five years, at around 5% per year on average. Student apartments have not increased proportionately to student growth, despite some private sectional title apartment offerings for students to rent.”

In addition, Renecle points out that application documentation for residence accommodation needs to be completed six months before the start of the academic year.  Applicants are selected based on academic results, participation in culture, sport and/or leadership and availability of space.

A shortage of student apartments seems to be an issue on a national scale. Less than 10% of first-year students can be accommodated at their universities while overall, there seems to be a shortage of more than 200 000 university beds throughout the country, excluding private tertiary institutions. This is according to reports earlier this year based on the Department of Higher Education’s Ministerial Review of South African University accommodation.

In order to cater to the growing demand for student apartments in Potchefstroom, Renprop - in a joint venture with Probuild and True North Developments - will be launching The Hub Campus – Potch, a two-storey apartment building with 200 apartments, in two phases.  This comes on the back of the success of the Ivy League sectional title development that caters to students wanting to be within walking distance of the university, which has an exceptionally high rental demand, and which is now fully tenanted.

Situated just 950m from the NWU’s Potchefstroom Campus, the townhouses at The Hub Campus – Potch have been designed with funky interiors that include desks for work stations in the bedrooms. These sectional title units are available in either one-bedroom, one-bathroom or two-bedroom, one bathroom configurations. Ranging in size from around 38m2 to 53m2, prices for these townhouses start from R559 000.

The Hub - Reading area perspective

As security is always top of mind, the apartments at The Hub Campus – Potch are protected with a number of 24-hour security systems including electric fencing, security guards who patrol the property as well as off-site surveillance and strict access control measures.

Communal facilities include a student centre with entertainment facilities including a sports lounge and wifi access. Residents will also have access to laundromat facilities adjacent to the student centre, with 24-hour access to washing machines and tumble dryers as well as an external drying yard. Occupation is estimated for the end of 2015 in time for the 2016 academic year.

“The Hub Campus - Potchefstroom presents a phenomenal opportunity for investors wanting to add to their buy-to-let portfolios, or for parents wanting to secure accommodation for their children. The strong rental demand is set to continue as student numbers grow,” Renecle concludes.

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