Densification policy to change Cape Town property norms - Market News, News
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Densification policy to change Cape Town property norms

30 Jul 2018

Cape Town City’s densification process, widely praised by sociologists and many members of the architectural community but often decried by the owners of large suburban homes, makes it essential that today’s home buyers accept that the homes they purchase in new developments will have less space than ever before.

Alexander says densification is the only way in which developers can bring new homes to Cape Town's market at prices that suit today’s buyers.

Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property, says the densification policy is logical because it focuses on development areas where travel time to the work nodes is reduced and the use of public transport can be enhanced.

“Additionally, densification is the only way in which developers can bring new homes to the market at prices that suit today’s buyers,” he says. “Spacious homes will increasingly only be for those in the upper-income brackets.”

Alexander says that although many of the public associate densification with the promotion of multi-unit sectional title developments, it can also apply to the simple subdivision of large erven into two, three or more single home erven. For example, a 5 000sqm property could be divided into two 2 500sqm properties.

“The swing to smaller homes and smaller plots has been ‘radical’,” he says. “Right now I know of only two new developments in Durbanville with erven bigger than 800sqm, and in Brackenfell there are no new developments with anything like that amount of space per home.”

Alexander says the good news is that today’s smaller homes are much in demand and well suited to buy-to-let investors and younger or less affluent middle-class buyers.

“As a result of the popularity of such homes, the return on the investment is very satisfactory - and the capital appreciation at these price levels is at the moment far more impressive than that being achieved on the more expensive homes.”

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