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Good schools & homes in Cape Town’s suburbs

09 Mar 2015

Cape Town is often considered the jewel of South Africa, with its mountains, oceans, beaches and winelands forming a spectacular backdrop to everyday life.

This four bedroom home in Newlands, Cape Town, offers three reception rooms, a study area and a manicured garden. It is selling for R6.9 million - click here to view.

This is according to Lindsay Dwyer, sales agent for Rawson Property Group’s Kirstenbosch Franchise, who says deciding where in Cape Town to settle down, however, can be a challenge, with numerous suburbs sprawling inland and around the peninsula, all offering their own, unique take on Capetonian life.

For families with school-aged children, the decision can be even more complicated, as proximity to schools as well as work needs to be taken into consideration. Luckily, Cape Town has many excellent schools to choose from.

Dwyer says if you ask a local about schools in Cape Town, the Southern Suburbs tends to be the first region to come up. While Rondebosch, Claremont and Wynberg are all popular options in the area, Newlands would be her top choice.

“Newlands is ideal for families with children because it’s not only close to some of Cape Town’s best schools, it’s also central, and has easy access to the M3 for parents who need to get to work.”

Newlands lies on the inland slopes of Table Mountain, and is known for its higher than average rainfall, which keeps the suburb green all year round. Hikers will enjoy Newlands Forest, while casual walkers can stroll through the numerous parks, riverside walkways and small greenbelts.

This property in Paarl has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. It is on the market for R1.6 million - click here to view.

Dwyer says there’s a great community vibe in Newlands, and even the domestics in the area tend to get together for walks with the kids and dogs. The average age of residents is between 25 and 47, so it’s very much a family suburb. It’s also very self-sufficient, with many restaurants, cafés and shops, not to mention Newlands Rugby and Cricket grounds.

As for schools, you’ll find SACS, Westerford, Grove, Sans Souci, and Kildare Pre-primary in Newlands proper, while Bishops, Rondebosch, Rustenburg and Herschel are all within easy reach.

Newlands properties vary from Newlands Village’s lock-up and go type homes, to Fernwood and Hiddingh’s more spacious options built on stands of 700sqm and up.

The average sales price in Newlands rose from R4.5 million in 2013 to R5.2 million in 2014. More affordable homes can be found along Paradise Road, with pricier options in the sought-after Fernwood and Hiddingh areas.

“It is a seller’s market at the moment, and buyers competing with each other are pushing prices up. Properties are moving quickly, but anything over R10 million takes a bit longer than most,” says Dwyer.

This home in Valmary Park, Durbanville, has five bedrooms, a TV and music room, study area and a patio with braai. It is priced at R4.95 million - click here to view.

Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs also offer a range of great areas. Louis Schoeman, Rawson Property Group Franchisee for Durbanville, says about 90% of the residents in Durbanville are families, and a lot of people live all their lives in this area, growing up, working, raising their own families and retiring here as well.

Schoeman says the great weather, the proximity to well-established wine farms and other outdoor attractions, the typically large gardens, and the fact that everything you could possibly need can be found in Durbanville is what makes the area so popular.

“We have a fast-growing CBD where a lot of people like to work, Tygervalley shopping centre, all the big trade stores, excellent medical facilities, lots of guesthouses, function centres, and, of course, very good schools.”

He says those schools include Durbanville Pre-Primary, Primary and High, Fairmont High, Gene Louw Primary, Curro Durbanville, Kenridge, Stellenberg and Eversdal Primary.

Property prices in Durbanville vary from an average of R2 million to R2.5 million in Goedemoed to R5 million to R6 million in the more expensive Vygeboom and surrounds.

This four bedroom house in Rondebosch East, Cape Town, offers two reception rooms and an entertainment area with pool and braai. It is on the market for R1.8 million - click here to view.

More affordable townhouses and flats can be found scattered throughout the suburb, however, with plenty of options available in the central areas.

Schoeman says they’re quite unique in that there isn’t really a ceiling for prices in this area, so you can renovate without having to worry too much about over-capitalising. Renovation is common, and the current trend seems to be buying old-style, larger properties and redeveloping them to match modern design standards.

Both sales and rental markets are booming, with an appropriately priced home generally selling within two weeks. Returns in the area are also excellent, and homeowners can see 7% to 8% capital growth per annum, with an additional 7% to 8% return possible should you choose to rent your property out.

If Durbanville and Cape Town central are a little too bustling and busy for your tastes, Paarl offers families a small-town lifestyle, with Cape Town’s amenities a mere 45 minute drive away.

Rawson Property Group Franchisee for Paarl, Lizette Joubert, says Paarl is special in that there are still vineyards in the middle of town.

“We see a lot of families with stay-at-home mothers choosing to live in this area, because the fathers don’t mind driving a little further to work if they can have that country holiday feeling at home.

Joubert says the schools are also a huge attraction. Well-known schools include Paarl Girls’ Primary and High, Paarl Boys’ Primary and High, La Rochelle, Paulus Joubert and Paarl Gimnasium. Bridge House is also just a short drive away.

You’ll find several types of properties in Paarl, including new developments, luxury estates, old Cape Dutch style properties with heritage status, and townhouses and apartments that are popular with both young and old.

“We have a good mixture of residents, with buyers generally between 30 and 50 years of age. We see a lot of first-time buyers and families with children,” she says.

The comparatively reasonable property prices may play a large role in attracting young buyers to Paarl, with a three bedroom home costing between R1.1 million to R1.45 million, depending on its location and how recently it was built.

Joubert says the old heritage houses are more expensive because they are quite rare and sought-after. Houses on newer estates also come at a slight premium. “But anything over R4.5 million tends to stay on the market a while.”

Property in Paarl is a good investment, she says. “We have a very stable market in this area, and our properties retained their value even over the 2007/2008 slump.”

Whether you’re looking for the country-chic lifestyle of Paarl, or the central convenience of Cape Town’s nearer suburbs, there are plenty of neighbourhood options that will help you balance school life, work life, and a happy home.

Looking for suburbs with good schools in Johannesburg and Pretoria? Click here
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