21 Aug 2013
The suburb of Woodstock, located on the eastern fringes of Cape Town’s central city, is seeing strong demand from buyers wanting affordable homes in a convenient central location, according to Pam Golding Properties (PGP).
Buying and selling property
PGP agents Val James and Ninon Connaway say buyers include young single professionals, extended families, investors and retirees, as well as those seeking older homes suitable for extensive renovation.
Demand and shortage of supply is resulting in upward pressure on prices, although affordability remains a key attracting feature for this area.
According to the agents, the convenient location is another major draw-card, with easy access to the N1 and N2 highways and only a five minute commute into the central city.
This has been further enhanced by the recent opening of the new MyCiti bus route in the area.
Woodstock and Salt River
Woodstock’s residential offering includes a mix of apartments, freehold homes and semi-detached properties, among them a number of character-filled Victorian homes.
Entry-level pricing for Upper Woodstock starts at around R500 000 for apartments or R900 000 for a basic small home without off-street parking.
More substantial houses are priced from R1.4 million to R1.6 million, with the top-end homes selling for R2.5 million or more, depending on size, parking facilities, security features and location within the suburb.
Upper Woodstock tends to command higher prices, especially close to Roodebloem Road with its mix of restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
“Both Woodstock and adjacent Salt River have become increasingly trendy over the past few years, thanks in part to the opening of a number of lifestyle, design and “foodie” destinations, such as The Palms design centre and the Old Biscuit Mill with its enormously popular weekend food market.”
Walmer Estate and University Estate
These suburbs attract more mature buyers, typically aged 30 years and older.
James and Conway say Walmer Estate has many long-term residents, some of them having grown up in the area and having moved away as young adults, only to return once they are starting to raise their own families.
Prices range from R1 million to R4 million, depending on size and views. PGP recently sold a seven bedroom home in the area for R2.8 million.
The agents say University Estate attracts slightly higher prices of over R2 million with average prices for the area at around R3 million while top-end homes command prices close to R5 million.
PGP says there are still a number of older homes in the area which have enormous potential for extension and renovation, however, stock is limited.
Hotel properties in Woodstock
According to Joop Demes, chief executive officer of Pam Golding Hospitality and managing director of Pam Golding Hotels, Woodstock is traditionally not a four star market and there are only two hotels of significance that operate in this part of Cape Town.
He explains that the oldest is the Garden Court Nelson Mandela Boulevard (previously known as Garden Court Eastern Boulevard) operated by Tsogo Sun as a mid-market hotel.
Pam Golding Hotels facilitated a transaction between the original Developers and Queensgate.
“It was our advice to establish a two star hotel with rooms of plus or minus 17 square metres.
“Queensgate, however, I am afraid, convinced the developer to build a four star hotel,” he says.
Woodstock is an up and coming area in Cape Town and still in our opinion is not a four star hotel market.
Hotels in this area will for some time to come compete on price with hotels in the Cape Town CBD and Waterfront, he says.
Garden Court Nelson Mandela Boulevard
Located at the corner of Melbourne and Coronation Roads in Walmer Estate, this hotel property is ideal for business and leisure travellers and is 15 minutes away from Cape Town International Airport and Camps Bay, one of the most popular beaches in the world.
The property offers 292 rooms with views over Table Bay, Devil’s Peak and Robben Island as well as five conference rooms.
Guests also enjoy connectivity with their loved ones and business with free, high speed WiFi daily for the duration of their stay.
Dining is a lavish affair at the newly revamped, Harbour View Restaurant offering a modern and contemporary setting with a daily buffet or continental breakfast and nightly buffet and a la carte menus.
Expect to pay from R1 049 per night, per room.
According to Hennie Senekal, Garden Court Nelson Mandela Boulevard general manager, although the property is a city hotel, noise is really not an issue thanks to the views that add to the guests’ overall ambience.
Asked what guests can take away from this property, Senekal says the view of Cape Town harbour and Devil’s Peak plus the staff friendliness and service delivery.
“Our dedicated service for tailor-made events and meetings in our five great conference rooms makes for memorable moments and we are continuously looking at new innovations and services to enhance our guests’ stay at the hotel.”
Senekal says guests checking in at the hotel should explore Woodstock as the area is undergoing regeneration and historic buildings are a must-see and as are the various eateries and creative culture spaces.
Furthermore, Senekal points out that the famous MyCiti bus now stops just behind the hotel property making it easy for those who choose not to hire a car to get to the hotel.
“We are very conveniently situated close to all major highways for easy access to the airport, Southern and Northern Suburbs and the CBD itself, plus, we are a short drive to Clifton and Camps Bay Beaches for holidaymakers.”
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cape Town - Upper Eastside
On 15 April 2013, the Upper Eastside, following a revamp was converted to the first ever DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in South Africa.
Located in Brickfields Road in Woodstock, the 183 room DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town - Upper Eastside offers affordable, contemporary living for the sophisticated traveller.
It also has an organic garden on the rooftop of the hotel with some of the finest herbs and ingredients grown, serving restaurant guests with fresh and healthy food.
Owned and operated by Upper Eastside Hotel (Pty) Ltd under a franchise license agreement, the newly renovated, upscale full-service property is located in Cape Town’s upcoming district of Woodstock, a dynamic area which is home to an abundance of fashionable art galleries, boutiques, music bars and trendy restaurants.
According to Francois Steyn, hotel general manager, since the conversion, they’ve seen a noticeable increase in the leisure market and international traveller guests (especially from the USA) are also on the rise, due to the property being part of an internationally recognised brand and being able to tap into the Hilton Honors Members and of course the warm double chocolate chip cookie on check-in.
To experience this property, expect to pay from R1 395 per night, per person.
Steyn points out that four star hotels are doing well in Cape Town as they target a broader visitor range offering similar amenities and facilities as a five star, but are less expensive.
“When World Design Capital 2014 kicks off there will be huge need for hotels that are not overpriced yet offer great service – which is what we at DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town Upper Eastside Pride ourselves on,” he says.
Commenting on the conversion, Demes says Queensgate unfortunately was unable to pay for the furniture, fittings and equipment and the developer decided to end the relationship and contract with Queensgate.
“We advised the developer to appoint an operator with an International Brand but the hotel subsequently was sold to a new owner for an absolute bargain.
“After an initial period of running the hotel themselves, we are very pleased to see that the new owners have followed our advice and have contracted with Hilton to convert the Hotel into a DoubleTree Hotel, the economy Brand of Hilton Hotels,” he explains.
However, he says in their opinion, the hotel is over specified and delivers a guest experience from a product and standard point of view, which is more of a four star level than an economy level.
“Hilton will pose serious competition for the Garden Court but both hotels will for the time being continue to compete on price compared to most of the other mid-market hotels in Cape Town.”
Hotel property market in Cape Town
Demes says the hotel property in Cape Town is experiencing a wonderful year of strong recovery.
The overall occupancy in Cape Town for the first five months ended 31 May 2013 grew by 6.3 percent compared to the same period last year and revenue per available room measured in South African rands grew by 17.3 percent with a 10.3 percent growth in the average achieved room rate.
He says the Cape Town five star market is by a far margin outperforming the three and four star market from a city and from a national point of view.
According to the data from 31 May 2013, to date occupancy for five star hotels in Cape Town is running at 70.9 percent compared to a national five star average of 63.2 percent.
But it is not only the Cape Town five star market that is ‘flying’ as the Cape Town three star economy market is also outperforming the other key cities in South Africa, he points out.
The same data also reveals that to date, occupancy for three star hotels in Cape Town is running at 68 percent compared to a national average of 60.7 percent.
“It is therefore not surprising that we are receiving an increasing amount of enquiries from regional and international operators in terms of acquisitions, management contracts opportunities and possible new developments,” says Demes.
According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), Tourist Accommodation June data, measured in nominal terms (current prices), total income for the tourist accommodation industry increased by 9.0 percent.
Income from accommodation increased by 7.9 percent year-on-year (y/y) in June, the result of a 2.7 percent increase in the number of stay unit nights sold and a 5.1 percent increase in the average income per stay unit night sold.
Stats SA reveals that the types of accommodation that recorded the highest y/y growth rates in income from accommodation in June were ‘other’ accommodation (12.7 percent) and guest houses and guest farms (10.1 percent).
According to the report, the main contributors to the 7.9 percent y/y increase in income from accommodation in June were hotels (contributing 4.1 percentage points) and ‘other’ accommodation (contributing 3.2 percentage points). - Denise Mhlanga
Denise MhlangaProperty journalist at property24.com
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