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Young tenants and buyers just love the urban Cape Town lifestyle

03 May 2019

A healthy work-life balance is the holy grail of modern society, and cutting down on 'time-sinks' like long commutes has become a fine art. Work-from-home and telecommute solutions are increasingly popular amongst Cape Town’s young professionals, but what about those of us who work (and love working) in one of the Mother City’s vibrant - if congested - CBDs?

This two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in Gardens, Cape Town, offers open-plan living and a large balcony with Table Mountain views. It is selling for R4.45 million - click here to view.

“We’re actually seeing two trends when it comes to rental properties in cities like Cape Town,” says Jacqui Savage, National Rentals Manager for the Rawson Property Group.

“The first is remote working - people renting in outlying suburbs and working from home. The second is inner-city living - living and working in the CBD.”

Savage says the latter has proven highly popular with professionals in the under-35 age bracket, who are opting out of the traditional suburban lifestyle of their parents.

“Low-maintenance, high-convenience and ultra-social lifestyles are the goal,” she says. “Who wants to waste precious free time mowing the lawn on Sunday afternoons when you could be tasting artisanal gin at the latest neighbourhood market?”

Located in a secure building, this apartment in Zonnebloem, Cape Town, has one spacious bedroom, one bathroom and north-facing mountain views. It is available to rent at R7 800 per month - click here to view.

Admittedly, those living in Cape Town’s CBD will likely have to sacrifice a little on space - urban apartments are often stylish but compact by design. Parking can also be a challenge, but this is far less of a problem for the young professionals of today, says Savage.

“Trends definitely point towards public transport use overtaking private vehicles in younger age groups. Between services like the MyCiti Bus network and e-hailing apps like Uber and Taxify, most urbanites can get away without private-use vehicles.”

This makes proximity to transport hubs just as important as business and entertainment districts for urban renters - one of the many reasons Cape Town CBD and Century City are reportedly leading this market segment.

“The latest figures for Century City show 36% of buyers are under 35,” says Savage. “According to our local Rawson rental franchises, tenant statistics are even higher in that age group.”

This one bedroom, one bathroom apartment in Gardens, Cape Town, offers gorgeous mountain views and is close to many amenities. It is available to rent at R10 000 per month - click here to view.

Cape Town CBD shows a similar leaning towards the youth market, with 30% of recent buyers under 35. The majority (43%) of buyers in this particular urban hub, however, are between 36 and 49 years - a result, Savage says, of the area’s larger and more established business district coupled with a thriving tourism industry bolstering the buy-to-let market.

In terms of rental investments, it’s tough to beat these vibey CBDs. Demand is consistent, there are opportunities for both short- and long-term lets, and the properties themselves tend to be well maintained, well secured, and either newly built or recently renovated, she says.

Buying prices, while higher than some other South African cities, are also less exorbitant than many would believe. In Cape Town’s CBD, there were over 200 sales under the R3 million mark between December 2017 and November 2018. Century City totalled 155 sales in the same price bracket over the same period of time.

This two bedroom, one bathroom apartment in Vredehoek, Cape Town, is on the market for R2.95 million- click here to view.

As for returns on investment, Savage says the rental market has come under fire from recent economic pressures, suppressing growth to more moderate levels than in previous years. However, she says this has not affected the long-term investment potential of these urban properties.

“If anything, this market is poised to skyrocket as soon as the economy turns around,” she says.

“Re-urbanisation is a growing trend that supports a very desirable lifestyle for our modern, young professionals. That’s one of our highest-growing demographics, and a very promising market from both a sales and rentals perspective. It’s really an ideal time to get a foot in this market - price growth may be slow for now, but the upswing is coming, and those in a position to take advantage of it will do very well.”

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