04 Jul 2013
When the Tyger Valley Waterfront in Cape Town was launched in 1996, a visiting American architectural journalist, Frank Nussbaum, commented that whoever had conceived the project had shown an amazing breadth of imagination and planning ability.
He said that waterfronts worldwide have proven popular for residential and commercial property development, but to envisage a project such as the Tyger Valley Waterfront, sited in a disused quarry had taken insight and vision.
Paul Abbott, the Rawson Property Group’s franchisee for the Tyger Valley Waterfront precinct, says the area has definitely “arrived”. The 1 000 sectional title units are some of the most sought after in Cape Town, by buyers and tenants. He says evidence of this is shown by the fact that initially, while almost all the apartments at the Waterfront were rented out, today 35 percent of them are owner-occupied. This percentage is steadily increasing to the delight of buy-to-let investors, who like to see a large proportion of owners in their schemes.
Furthermore, among the rental units, there are almost none which remain empty for more than one month, when the previous tenant vacates them, Abbott says.
“Our rental portfolio consists of just under 200 units and we have less than 2.5 percent late payers, i.e. paying after two weeks, while among actual defaulters, the percentage is well below one percent.”
He adds that a zero percent vacancy is fairly rare anywhere in the Greater Cape Town area – but that is what they have achieved.
Abbott says landlords today appreciate that a good rental agent, using the ‘tools’ available to such people (Payprop, TPN and Search Works) are able to weed out 99 percent of unreliable and irresponsible tenants. He adds that the reason for this is that these research investigation engines have access to almost all potential tenants’ credit and employment records.
Today, Tyger Valley Waterfront rents are increasing at a rate of, or even above, 10 percent per annum. Monthly rents on units in the area vary from R5 500 for an unfurnished two bedroom unit to R15 000 for a three bedroom furnished unit. In general, furnished units rent out for 25 percent more than those which are unfurnished.
On the sales front, Abbott adds that things are looking promising. After property values dropped drastically in the 2009 to 2011 recession, prices are now firming up – but it is possible to get a two bedroom apartment at the Tyger Valley Waterfront for R650 000. By way of contrast, top level apartments can cost as much as R2.5 million.
“The current sales prices and rentals should make a purchase here very attractive to investors. However, they are not returning to the market in large numbers as yet,” he says.
Abbott says that although several restaurants did not survive initially, most have gone from strength to strength and are currently doing very well. He says this has ensured that the Waterfront is now a recognised social gathering place in the evenings and over lunch hours.
He adds that the appeal of the precinct is enhanced by efficient management of the waterbody, roads and road verges, the communal areas and the cliff faces, one of which has a waterfall that flows year-round.
Some 40 percent of the space at the Waterfront is set aside as commercial property and Abbott says this too is experiencing a stronger demand.
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