Guest article by Pam Golding Properties
Increasingly recognised globally as an emerging tech hub, attracting not only an influx of tech start-ups but also significant, rising interest from international call centres, particularly from the UK and USA, Cape Town’s central city is ideally positioned to capitalise on its rising stature due to its efficient and innovative tech infrastructure, not to mention its highly appealing environment and lifestyle, said Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of Pam Golding Properties (PGP).
“Notably, in a recent report by Savills regarding Top Tech Cities around the globe, Cape Town is highlighted as an emerging centre in the FinTech space, along with Nairobi and Lagos, as the African market leapfrogs traditional banking. The report defines the broad area of FinTech as ranging from payment technologies and insurance tech to blockchain and cryptocurrency. New York and London, the two global leaders in financial services, top the Savills FinTech list, while the finance hubs of Singapore, Tokyo and Chicago also score highly. Others, like Miami, are bolstering their positions as financial centres by embracing finance technology,” said Dr Golding.
“Having transformed over the past couple of decades into a vibrant, mixed-use destination of choice for businesses, investors, residents and visitors alike, Cape Town’s central city offers connectivity not only in terms of technology, but also in the sense of providing access to a great lifestyle from a health, work, leisure and entertainment perspective,” he said.
Basil Moraitis, Western Cape regional head for PGP said the ease of access to a “trendy cosmopolitan lifestyle within a buzzing, pedestrian environment, as well as affordability of apartments” especially in the sub-R3m price band made this a very sought-after node for investment for Airbnb’s.
“As a result, we are seeing a great deal of activity in the residential market, particularly in the West precinct from De Waterkant to Bree Street, the latter being the go-to area for the latest and trendiest restaurants,” he said.
The demand is predominantly between the R1.5m and R2.5m mark, with buyers seeking anything from studios to two-bedroom apartments.
“Generally speaking, this price band will fetch a studio to one-bedroom unit in a desirable, new high-security block. Apartment blocks which will allow short-term lets are the most sought-after as this underwrites the capital value of the property, because it offers the investor opportunities to maximise the rental yield in the high-demand months,” he said.
At the high-end of the market, purchases are being concluded primarily for primary residence. FGor example, PGP recently sold the four-bedroom, four-bathroom penthouse in Mutual Heights in Darling Street for R8.7m which was sold to a buyer from Johannesburg.
The 374 square metre opulent penthouse apartment includes sweeping views of Table Mountain and the central city, and a secure key-controlled elevator granting access directly into the apartment. Once the tallest building in Africa, the build is an “example of Art Deco decadence”, Moraitis explains.
There is also talk that the old Post Office and the Standard Bank building in Adderley Street will be redeveloped into a 5-Star hotel, which will bring additional life and confidence to the central city.
Apart from Cape Town, Stellenbosch in the heart of the Cape Winelands also enjoys a growing reputation as a prime, tech hub.
Louise Varga, area manager for PGP in Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Gordon’s Bay and Strand said the formation in the late 80s of Technopark, “a vibrant technology-focused park” proved to be a magnet for innovative, like-minded individuals. This, together with the University of Stellenbosch drew attention to the area, and helped shape a solid foundation for the growing demand for real estate in and around the Stellenbosch area.
“Both the Technopark and the university have generated a significant demand for properties catering for a broad variety of requirements, ranging from world-class wine farms and lifestyle estates to family homes and student apartments. In regard to residential property, family homes in Stellenhbosch generally sell between R4.5m and R8m in areas such as Brandwacht, Paradyskloof and Die Boord,” said Varga.
Tech-savvy buyers tended to lean towards a simplified way of life where innovation and technology are evident in both design and lifestyle, where the preferred price bracket is mainly in the price range between R2m and R4.5m.
An example of the type of properties currently high in demand in and around the town is a new development, Newinbosch, set on 48ha just outside Stellenbosch, where 1 320 apartments, simplexes, townhouses, courtyard homes and homesteads will accommodate some 5000 to 6000 residents, including include young professionals, large families, students and retirees. Prices of units range from R1.795m million to R 4.513m.
Newinbosch offers numerous amenities and facilities including a shopping centre, primary and high school and creche, church, clubhouse, shared office space, gym, tennis courts, climbing wall, skateboard park, dog park, amphitheatre, 6000sqm urban farm, 25m training, water polo and underwater hockey swimming pool, children’s pool, boules courts, cycling and running routes and cricket nets.
“The bulk of our buyers in Stellenbosch are mostly locals purchasing for primary residence, however, a large number of investors acquire residential property to rent out to students. Other buyers are from all over the country, including Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and a few other provinces,” said Varga.
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