|For the purposes of this feature we refer to the Northern Suburbs
as bordered by the N1 on the south, Goodwood on the west, Kraaifontein
on the east and Durbanville in the north.
The Northern Suburbs is part of the City of Tygerberg, formed
in May 1996 from the amalgamation of the municipalities of Bellville,
Durbanville, Goodwood, Parow, Khayelitsha and Mfuleni. Readily
accessible from all directions, it is close to Cape Town International
Airport and contains a wide spread of commercial and light industry
from the Grand West Casino complex to wine estates.
Louw Coetzee Properties Director Johan de Bruyn grew up in the
area. Driving up Jip de Jager Avenue, he points out hills covered
with homes that were bare veld when he was a boy. Plattekloof
was always an upmarket area, says De Bruyn, but the developments
‘sort of started in Boston’.
Then the owner of Loevenstein farm parcelled up his land and another
development began, then Welgemoed and, in the 1990s, a spate of
upmarket estates began to overrun the hills and vineyards: Welgedacht,
Oude Westhof, Kanonberg, Welgevonden, to name a few.
Sotheby’s International currently have a property on their
books in Oude Westhof – 33 Chardonnay – with an asking
price of R13-million.
What to watch
Established suburbs such as Valmary Park and Vygeboom, with huge
gardens and rambling homes, are being targeted by developers and
homeowners who usually demolish the existing homes and put up
larger, modern residences. Chief Executive Officer of Joey Broodryk
Estates Melanie Broodryk says that very particular buyers seek
homes in these areas. ‘The yuppy wants to be in a secure
village – no garden. They work night and day. Weekends they
Like any city, Tygerberg has its extremes: from an R8m property
in Kanonberg to people living in a caravan park. The park is well-kept,
with caravans parked neatly beneath the trees just like you’d
see in any holiday town.
Melanie says a ‘very small percentage of properties are
purchased in the high-end of the market as investments for rental
income’. Most investors are looking to get their hands on
apartments, townhouses and duplexes, which they can
rent out for between R1 800 and R4 000 per month. Now, she says,
demand far exceeds the rental property available. Trudi Graser
of Trudi Graser Estates says: ‘There’s been a huge
demand for all areas here.The most upmarket areas – Welgemoed,
Kanonberg, Welgedacht, Plattekloof and parts of Durbanville –
have experienced phenomenal growth in last the two years, providing
great returns for investors. I have a waiting list for anything
under R1.5m from those who buy with a view to renovate.’
Her advice to young buyers: ‘They should go for the green
areas – Durbanville, Protea Valley, Kenridge.’
‘When they started this big boom of development in four
different directions the estate agents were all scared,’
says Joey Broodryk Estates Office Manager Freda Heerink. ‘They
thought everybody would buy into the new developments and there
wouldn’t be any interest in the second-hand market. But
keep up. There’s hardly any second-hand stuff and all the
new developments are selling like hot cakes.’
The Tyger Falls development has everyone talking. Plots are going
for around R980 000. Melanie says it’s the Northern Suburbs’
answer to the Waterfront, ‘a place to work and play’.
And despite the fact that it’s already expensive to buy
into and the owners are battling to get the rents they need, she
thinks ‘it will come right’.
Pam Golding Properties Deputy Manager Northern City Areas Samantha
Haefele seems to agree – they are now selling for the development.
‘We usually get involved at re-sale level,’ she explains.
‘Developers are best equipped to handle selling off-plan.’
Pam Golding Properties Director Maureen Nel says that the ‘rental
market is not as good as [the investors] thought, but that’s
because it’s early days’. ‘I think [investors]
are going to have to subsidise heavily for a while,’ agrees
Melanie says they have 100 to 150 properties on their books, but
there are very few places where you can find a bargain, except
perhaps ‘in the Kraaifontein area’.
But the Cape Gate shopping centre (opening March 2005), has made
prices in these areas also ‘take off’.
Mick thinks that first-time buyers’ expectations are unreal.
‘Since when have new clients been buying new units?’
he asks. ‘Twenty years ago people bought in Harfield Village.
Today, you have to go to Salt River, Woodstock and lower Observatory.
In this area [young couples] should be looking at Boston, Oakdale,
Samantha says the problem often is one of financing. ‘The
banks will classify certain areas as D, for which they will not
give a bond, so you can’t get finance.’
The top end of the market, however, is very wealthy. ‘Seven
years ago Welgemoed had the highest income per capita,’
Mick tells us.
‘Somerset West has long had the same reputation as a very
wealthy area when you look at average index, but this seems to
Samantha agrees. ‘We used to lose a lot of clients to Somerset
West, but that no longer happens.’
As Mick puts it: ‘Somerset West is a town and this is a
city and that’s a major draw card.’
As with any property investment, it’s not only about position:
timing is equally important. This could well be the year when
the southside of the Northern Suburbs offers the best deals. Of
course, you may have to wait longer to turn a tidy profit.