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Top 10 Cape Town CBD apartment blocks

28 Oct 2013

The Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) recently released a survey that shows overwhelming support for the “downtown” lifestyle that the Cape Town CBD has to offer, read the article here.

Located in the Cape Town CBD, this one bedroom apartment is selling for R1.1 million through Jawitz City Bowl. Click here to view.

The report notes that just 10 years ago, it was estimated that only some 750 people were living in the Central City and according to the latest census data, this figure has now risen to well over 5 000, living in approximately 3 500 sectional title units.

According to Francois Venter, director at Jawitz Properties, Cape Town CBD can be seen as the ''Manhattan of South Africa".

Compared to other major metropoles such as Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London, Cape Town’s CBD is arguably the best CBD in the whole of South Africa. 

It provides great proximity to all that the Mother City has to offer, is well run, and is very cosmopolitan.

“Buyers and tenants are mainly South African, or based in South Africa, many of whom we assume work in the city.”

The ongoing revitalisation of CBDs in SA’s big cities is being hastened by the increasing number of people seeking to live in these areas rather than the suburbs or former townships, explains Shaun Rademeyer, chief executive officer of BetterBond Home Loans.

The report notes that just 10 years ago, it was estimated that some 750 people were living in the Central City and according to the latest census data, this figure has now risen to well over 5 000, living in approximately 3 500 sectional title units, according to a report. Picture taken by Lisa Burnell.

“The big attraction is being within walking distance of their jobs or places of study, as well as a variety of food and clothing shops, restaurants and coffee bars, galleries, nightspots, the gym, service businesses such as laundries, copy shops and locksmiths,” he says.

Furthermore, he says proximity to public transport hubs like the Gautrain stations and Bus Rapid Transport stations is also important to an increasing number of young home buyers and tenants and in this they are following the lead of their US counterparts, according to the latest national housing survey by the Urban Land Institute.

This poll also showed that 62 percent of Generation Y respondents prefer to live in mixed-use developments – that is, buildings that may house shops, restaurants and offices as well as their apartments.

“This is a common occurrence in old city centres around the world, and now also appears to be a growing trend in CBDs of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria.”

Property prices in the CBD

Venter refers to figures dated January to September 2012 and January to September 2013 only.

According to this data, the average price in 2012 was R1 331 255 while in 2013 it was at R1 351 521 – a 1 percent increase which indicates that prices are generally increasing steadily.

The average size of an apartment sold in 2012 was 86 square metres while in 2013 to end of September the average size was 77 square metres.

He notes that the average price per square metre has increased, however, despite the average size decreasing, which shows people are paying more for less space.

A two bedroom apartment at The Perspective in the Cape Town CBD is selling for R1.35 million through Jawitz City Bowl. Click here to view.

In 2012 the average price per square metre was R15 865 while in 2013 it has been at R17 501, pointing out that between January and September 2012, there were 85 sales and for this year to end September there have been 141 sales – demonstrating that the volume of sales is definitely on the increase.

The average amount of time that properties are on the market has also decreased from 113 days in 2012 to 105 days this year to end September, and the percentage between the listed price and final selling price has also improved - in 2012, the percentage difference was –9 percent while this year to end September it was lower at -6 percent.

Venter says the highest recorded sales (sale not sales) for these time periods saw in 2012 a R5.6 million three bedroom 320 square metre apartment sold at Canal Quays and in 2013 a sale of R4.925 million for a two bedroom 210 square metre apartment in The Icon.

He says the lowest recorded sales for these time periods saw in 2012 a R520 000 sale for a 36 square metre studio apartment at The Square, while this year for just R350 000 a one bedroom 43 square metre apartment was sold at Senator Park.

Asked about rentals, he says generally, a two bedroom, unfurnished apartment would fetch between R6 000 and R10 000 per month.

An unfurnished one bedroom apartment is priced between R5 000 and R7 000, while an unfurnished studio apartment would cost between R4 000 and R5 000.

If you are looking to rent a furnished apartment, at least an additional R1 000 per month could be added to these prices, he says.

Top 10 residential blocks to buy into

These include Mandela Rhodes Place, The Icon Building, Cartwrights Corner, The Perspective, Mutual Heights, St. Martini Gardens, The Decks, Four Season, Flat Rock and The Square. Prices will also depend on whether the partment is furnished (F) or unfurnished (U) - see table for detailed information.

Building/Block Street Address Average selling price per unit Average selling price per square metre Average monthly rental 1 bedoom Average monthly rental 2 bedooms Average monthly rental 3 bedrooms Cash versus  bonded sale Buyers
Mandela Rhodes Place Wale Street R1 910 416 R19 845

U -R8000

F-9000

U-R12000

F-R15000

U-R18000

F-R19000-R20000

58% cash buyers Mostly SA, a couple from Germany and one buyer from Costa Rica.
The Icon Building Hans Strijdom Avenue/Long Street R1 526 687 R21 879

*No U units throughout

F -R7500

F-R9500 F-R12000-R15000 56% bonded sales Majority South Africans
Cartwrights Corner Adderley Street R1 239 444 R18 350

*U nits

R5900

U-R8000

F-R8500

  n/a 55% cash sales Majority SA buyers with a few from Portugal and France
The Perspectives Roland Street R1 084 857 R14 364

U- R6000

F- R6500

U-R8000

F-R8500

U-R10000

F-R11000-R12000

66% cash sales All South African
Mutual Heights Parliament/Darling Street R860 000 R14 121

U -R6000

F- R6500

U-R8000

F-R8500

U-R10000

F-R12000

50/50 bond and cash Majority from SA
St Martini Gardens Queen Victoria Street R1 116 071 R15 430

U-R6000

F-R6500

U-R8000

F-R8500

n/a 57% bonded sale All from SA
The Decks Long Street R1 200 000 R17 480

U- R6000

F-R6500

U-R10500

F-R11500

U-R14000

F-R15000

50/50 bond and cash All from SA
Four Seasons Buitenkant Street R815 000 R16 054

*Studio apartments

U-R5000

F-R6500

U-R8000

F-R8500

n/a 50/50 bond and cash   All from SA
Flat Rock Buiten/Loop Street R1 697 555 R18 174

U-R6000

F-6500-R7000

U-R8000

F-R9000

U-R11000-R12000

F-R13000

55% bonded sale Majority from SA plus one UK buyer
The Square Butenkant Street R578 000 R17 940

U-R4500

F-R5000

U-R6800

F-R7500

U-R8000

F-R8500

66% bonded sale All from SA

*Figures are for January to September 2013

3 reasons why people buy into these blocks

Venter points out that the top three types of buyers are those looking to live in the city, buy-to-let investors and those looking to own a pied-à-terre.

1. Convenient location

For example, The Decks is situated on Long Street and is above retail property so this space is used for commercial and residential space.

St Martini Gardens is right next door to the advocate chambers, so it’s a useful location to own a pied-a- terre for advocates who may usually be based out of the city but want somewhere close by to sleep during the week.

2. Great rental returns

Since monthly rentals are seldom under R6 000 per month and can be up to as much as R20 000, and this is a huge consideration for investors who buy into the blocks.

3. Some of these blocks offer great amenities

Mandela Rhodes Place and the Icon Building can be used as great examples here.

Mandela Rhodes Place is run like a hotel so it is well looked after and it offers amenities such as a pool, gym and restaurant plus great security.

Additionally, some of these residential blocks are involved in deals with airlines to accommodate tourists. - Denise Mhlanga

About the Author
Denise Mhlanga

Denise Mhlanga

Property journalist at property24.com

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