Property Flash


September 4 2023

Icon – Residential development

Developers, landlords and tenants have embraced residential property in the CBD of the Mother City, the superb and comprehensive State of Cape Town Central City Report 2022 – A year in review has showed.

South Africans and foreigners want to live in Cape Town because it is exceptional as a city, holding its own on an international level. It offers versatile lifestyles, and the growing strength of its investment case cannot be denied. People want to live, work, and play in Cape Town, a city which is growing and improving day by day. The city is also playing an increasingly important role in the South African economy. Its performance has been consistent and impressive in recent years.

Organisations like the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), a private-public company which manages the CBD in partnership with local government and promotes high-quality investment, are delivering for businesses which invest and operate in Cape Town.

The CCID’s mandate is to provide services and to promote the 1.6 km2 Special Rates Area. This is the area bordered to northeast by Table Bay Harbour, including the V&A Waterfront, the Atlantic Seaboard to the northwest, the City Bowl to the west and south and District Six and Woodstock to southeast. The CCID publishes the SCCR annually so that investors, businesses and other groups have access to reliable, detailed performance data.

16 on Bree

It’s pleasing that the 11th edition of the report clearly shows that the city’s recovery post-Covid-19 has been far-reaching. Numerous sectors across the Cape Town CBD’s economy, including real estate subsectors, have excelled relative to how they were performing pre-pandemic. Residential property stands out among these, with landlords enjoying higher rental rates than they did before Covid struck. Finding an apartment to rent in the inner city is a competitive process.

Key findings of the report show that Cape Town’s CBD attracted R3.555bn in property investment last year, including developments and redevelopments. New affordable housing was a notable portion of this investment. Of the 22 buildings included in the R3.555bn worth of development, eight were residential, six were commercial, four were mixed-use, two were retail and there was one aparthotel and one parastatal building respectively.

In 2022, 648 housing units or homes were sold at a median price of R1.47m, 13.8% down on 2021’s 750 units sold at a median price of R1.71m. Bear in mind that the 2021 sales were 33.3% up on 2020’s 349 units sold during the economic lockdown imposed in response to the pandemic.

The demand for Cape Town inner-city living is healthy and helping to drive development activity. For example, a standout residential build under construction is The Fynbos, a R1.2bn majestic project, set to become South Africa’s first biophilic building. It is the most valuable residential development underway in the city and is set to liven up Upper Bree Street. The Fynbos will include luxury studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, ranging in size from 24 m2 to 85 m2, and will add over 880 new residential units to the Central City residential pool. Each occupant will enjoy a garden experience. The building’s façade will include 30 species of trees and 20 species of shrubs as it embraces the natural greenery and forests of Cape Town.

The Barracks – Mixed-use development

The reasons why people want to live in the city are vast. Semigration has also helped drive the conversion of certain office properties into apartments as South Africans are drawn to the best run CBD in the country. Redevelopments also have a lower environmental cost and can work well if managed by shrewd operators. An average carbon footprint of just under 500kg of CO2 per m2 is far below the 500kg to 1500kg seen in new builds.

Other exciting residential developments include Neighbourgood Reserve, a R75m building located at the top of Adderley Street, which was completed in 2022 and Fleetway House/ Vida d’Chette, a R60m building which under construction in 2022, located at 17 Martin Hammerschlag Way on the Foreshore.

Neighbourgood Reserve is part of developer Neighbourgood’s portfolio of shared living and working spaces. Fleetway is being developed by HOMii. Then there is The Tokyo, a new-age apartment building at 87 Loop Street, valued at R150m. It is being developed by Rawson Developers, a group that is highly active in Cape Town, having enjoyed recent success with Newlands Peak.

The Carrington is Rawson’s other new R70m development, a stone’s throw from The Tokyo in Loop Street. Other residential developments include 132 Adderley Street, which is a R140m Heriot Properties project and two affordable housing projects: Leeuloop, on Dorp Street and Founders Garden on DF Malan Street near the Artscape Theatre Centre, both being undertaken by the Western Cape Government.

Developers responded quickly to the fall in the demand for office space following the pandemic and numerous mixed-use projects were announced quickly. By 2022, four mixed-use developments including residential, office and retail components were in the property pipeline.

The Barracks – Mixed-use development

These include the former Standard Bank office block on the Foreshore, which has been redeveloped into the R500m One Thibault, as well as a new R600m development set to change the CBD’s skyline called The Rubik. The Rubik is yet another development in Loop Street, a popular position in the inner city. The Barracks is another new R150m mixed-use development located on Bree Street. It is the redevelopment of a heritage site in the central city which is garnering much attention. As many as 70 micro-apartments are being built on top of an 18th century former warehouse building. The first hotel built using hemp bricks is also being built in the Cape Town Central City. The aparthotel called 84 Harrington, valued at R180m, is the world’s tallest building to be constructed using industrial hemp. It has 12 storeys, and about 50 rooms, and its construction has a minimal carbon footprint.

Residential property clearly is a tenacious asset class in the Cape Town CBD and it will attract more investment from institutions over time as they come to appreciate its underlying long-term value. The CCID’s SCCR clearly shows how important it is to champion top quality housing developments in this vibrant city.

The Rubik – Mixed-use development

Paid for editorial for the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID)

Get in touch:

CCID office:; +27 (0)21 286 0830


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