‘Rent a cheapie’ long gone

2015-06-23 06:01

This magnificent family home in Constantia comes with three separate wings and a multitude of living rooms, six bedroom suites, staff accommodation, garaging, a tropical garden and a heated swimming pool. It was rented out at R75 000 per month on

This magnificent family home in Constantia comes with three separate wings and a multitude of living rooms, six bedroom suites, staff accommodation, garaging, a tropical garden and a heated swimming pool. It was rented out at R75 000 per month on

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The residential rental market across the city’s southern suburbs is booming. Rental properties, especially those under R30 000 per month, is in short supply, according to Sonya Garisch and Jacqui Bush, rental agents at a South African property company.

In a statement the agents say momentum has been building for the last three years with properties now snapped up quickly.

“The overwhelming driver of the buoyant activity is the desire for the lifestyle. For those that are unable to buy given the price tags in some of the suburbs, renting is the ideal alternative. We even find some tenants own properties in other areas, but choose to rent in the southern suburbs,” they say.

“Aside from corporate rentals, about a quarter of all applicants are outsiders moving into the area. This includes expats returning to the country as well as individuals from Johannesburg and Pretoria relocating to the city. Renting is often preferred as an initial option as it gives them the time to scout the areas and properties on offer before taking the leap to buying.”

The residential area in the southern suburbs stretches roughly from Rondebosch through to Tokai and Zwaanswyk and includes a number of suburbs on either side of the M3 – from Newlands, Claremont and Kenilworth to Bishop’s Court and Constantia.

“It contributed around R5.7bn in real estate sales to the economy last year and boasts a substantial rental market,” says James Lewis, the managing director for the area at the company.

“With the highest number of schools per square kilometre in the country along with a number of tertiary institutions, including UCT, it boasts a massive student and family market,” he says.

“Areas such as Claremont, New­lands and Kenilworth, with its cosmopolitan vibe, also attract young people, especially job entrants and young professionals, and this, together with the student market, drives massive demand for apartment rentals,” he says.

“On the back of tight stock levels, monthly rentals have been trending upwards and tenants are now paying around R7 500 for studio apartments and up to R12 000 per month for a two-bedroomed unit in an area such as Newlands,” say Garisch and Bush.

“Meanwhile, family homes in Rondebosch and Newlands now go for around R35 000 per month on average. While tenants in the To­kai area now pay around R25 000 on average for a house, Zwaans­wyk houses fetch up to R40 000 per month on average,” they say.

According to the statement, the upper income areas, such as Bishop’s Court and Constantia, now command an average monthly rental of between R50 000 to R75 000 on long-term leases of between two and three years. Properties can go as high as R120 000 for an unfurnished top-end home and R140 000 if fully furnished. Homes in security estates such as Silvertree and Steenberg achieve an average of around R55 000 per month, but can go to around R85 000.

“The strong rental market and stock shortages signal good buy-to-let investment opportunities, especially in the middle section of the market,” say Garisch and Bush. The demand for homes in the R15 000 to R30 000 per month range, for example, far outweighs supply.

“Even the upper end of the rental market is worth looking at. We recently dealt with an investment client who bought three top-end homes in Upper Constantia late last year and we managed to let out all three without even having to advertise.”

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