Cape Town's City Bowl area remains a highly desirable location for property buyers seeking both convenience and a fashionable lifestyle, despite the current turmoil in the property market generally.
This is the view of Steve Van Schaik, co-principal for Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty City Bowl, who says that the recent
cooling off in property prices provides an ideal opportunity for buyers to take advantage of a worldwide trend towards inner-city living.
"There is confusion in the market at the moment, but the long term prospects for buyers, including those wishing to live and those wishing to invest in the City Bowl, remains very positive. And it's not only about rocketing fuel prices and growing traffic congestion, but also the concept of fashionable 'Manhattan-style' living that is driving the trend," he says.
He notes that the City Bowl comprises a relatively wide area that includes the neighbouring areas in addition to the CBD itself.
"From the slightly cheaper Devil's Peak area on the one side to the more-expensive Tamboerskloof on the other, and from the tourist areas near the Waterfront and De Waterkant to the commercial and loft-style residential areas of the CBD, the City Bowl offers something for everybody," he says.
Van Schaik notes that while prices per square metre are high relative to more traditional suburban areas, there are still bargains to be had.
"Unlike the suburbs where all the houses in a particular area tend to be very similar in price, properties in the City Bowl - even those next
door to each other - can vary quite considerably in price, depending upon their condition, finishes, parking and general space utilisation,
and other factors.
"Crime is relatively low and the authorities continue to ensure that the City Bowl remains clean. As a result Cape Town's inner city is way
ahead of other large South African cities in terms of its desirability as a place to live and work. However, it is still cheap relative to
other major cities in the world," he concludes.