Agents still have plenty to let for the holidays

With the start of the long summer holiday season just weeks away, Western

Cape agents still have plenty of accommodation available - a fact that many

are reading as a sign that consumer spending is slowing down.

The rentals department of the Aida Atlantic Seaboard office, which covers

the area from Green Point to Camps Bay, reports that there is still a wide

selection of units on offer. And for those looking for basic accommodation,

two-bedroom apartments without significant views can still be booked at

rentals of around R850 a day.

Beachfront property and units close to hotspots such as the Waterfront are

considerably more expensive, and can command daily rentals of up to R4000

per day.

The office also reports that overall, the demand for holiday homes and

apartments seems slower this year than previously - and that many

holidaymakers seem to be opting for shorter stays in full-service

accommodation such as hotels.

Further along the coast, units for the most popular period from 15 December

to 5 January are virtually fully booked although there is still a relatively

wide choice available for early December and late January.

Deon Esterhuyse, owner of the Aida franchise in Onrus near Hermanus, says

bookings for the high season are often made a year in advance and that this

year has been no exception.

"However, more units have become available for holiday rentals this year

following the interest rate increases, as owners put units they originally

bought mainly for their own use into the rental market to offset their

higher bond costs."

He says rentals for "inland" units in the area start at around R400 a day

and escalate to anything between R1000 and R2000 a day for beachfront

properties during the high season. "But many owners are willing to negotiate

lower rates for the off-season," he says.

Meanwhile units for long-term rental in Onrus and nearby Hermanus are in

short supply. "The limited available stock has been taken up due to quick

increases in home selling prices and leases are generally renewed because

tenants cannot afford to buy their own property."

And the Aida Stellenbosch office, which specialises in rental accommoation

for students, reports that many of the available units have already been

leased for next year. Rentals for on-campus units vary between R4200 and

R4400 a month while off-campus two-bedroom apartments average monthly

rentals of between R3500 and R3800.

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