Now’s the time to rent in the city

2017-07-04 06:01

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Creating a resilient city means consolidation and filling the few gaps left.

This was stated at the Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) annual business breakfast recently.

CCID chairperson Rob Kane acknowledged that just as the rest of the country was feeling the pressure of economic and political uncertainty, so too was Cape Town’s traditional CBD. “Now is the time to consolidate. We need to look towards both short-term and long-term survival and the best way to ensure it. It’s time not to think so much in terms first of supply and then demand, but to instead look very carefully first at where demand lies – for example, among the needs of the daily workforce that are the heart of our downtown, to our student communities and our visitor economy. And then, once we have carefully assessed the demand, we can strategically work out how best to tweak our current offerings, where needed, to supply those demands, whether they be in retail, residential, creating job opportunities or attracting the right kind of investment that will keep this CBD of ours vibrant.”

CCID CEO Tasso Evangelinos agreed, referring to the City of Cape Town’s recent inclusion in the Rockefeller Foundation’s “100 Resilient Cities” (RC100) programme.

Reflecting on the results of the CCID’s latest report and updating the audience on trends over the last six months, the author and editor of the CCID’s annual investment guide, Carola Koblitz, noted: “We’re starting to see a consolidation in the CBD in terms of the fact that we’ve seen growth over the past few years equally across a number of sectors, from the growth of commercial property and the development of new residential property, to the changing face of retail. As we now face a period of economic uncertainly countrywide, now is the time to carefully examine what we have, establish where the gaps are and work hard towards filling those gaps.”

In terms of consolidation, she noted that the recent rise in residential prices seemed to have slowed: “The rand per square metre is still showing growth over the past six months, but we’re seeing less of an escalation in year-on-year prices than we’ve seen over the past few years when property in the CBD was still coming off a very low base.”

Koblitz noted a slight decline in the cost of monthly rentals in the CBD, with many more units available on the market for rent than there had been in December.

Commenting on the City of Cape Town’s most recent property valuations report, which had placed the overall nominal value of all property in the CBD at just under R31bn, Koblitz noted that there was currently R4.3bn under construction within the CCID’s boundaries, with an additional R8.1bn either in planning or proposed for development to come before 2019.

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