Tourists who want to visit the Mother City during peak seasons should make sure their bookings for holiday properties are made months in advance, says Jonathan Styles, owner of the Harcourts Sterling estate agency in Sea Point.
“During the festive season, we received many desperate enquiries from prospective holidaymakers who were prepared to pay premiums for accommodation, but although we administer more than 400 holiday rental properties, we were fully-booked by August and had to turn away scores of people because there was simply nothing available.
“And now, although most South African tourists have returned home, tourists from Europe - notably Germany and the UK – are still flocking to Cape Town as they flee from winter weather in the northern hemisphere. The ‘season’ and high demand for holiday rentals, is thus set to last well into March.”
He says holiday rentals range from about R1600 a day for one-bedroom flats in Green Point up to a whopping R300 000 a month for luxurious villas in Clifton. "There is demand across all price categories and while rentals at the upper limit are particularly attractive to international tourists because of their strong currencies, tycoons from Gauteng are not averse to booking such units for a month in peak season to entertain family, associates and friends."
Indeed, Styles says, many investors who rent furnished units to residential tenants during the year now offer only 10-month leases in order to cash in on the higher rentals during the peak holiday season.
“At the same time, there are definitely more residential buyers in the market and stock shortages in our areas are huge at the moment. Properties that have languished in the market for a long time are now readily attracting offers when well-priced and buyers who have had to hold on to their properties are seeing prices startingto catch up with their expectations."
Prices for residential units start at around R1,5m for neat one-bedroom flats, he says, while the greatest demand currently is for two- or three-bedroom flats and townhouses with a view in the R2m to R4m price range.
Top properties in sought-after locations on the Atlantic Seaboard and with spectacular views now attract offers of R30m-plus(see picture) and, says Styles, many buyers here are offering cash or substantial deposits.
“International investors have also returned to the buy-to-let market and typically offer long-term residential contracts.Most of these investors are looking for value growth rather than high rental yields and can conservatively expect growth of about 9 to 10% per year,” he says.
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