The Southern Suburbs make up some of the most popular residential areas in Cape Town, comprising charming groups of suburbs which lie to the south-east of the slopes of Table Mountain. It is seen as the city’s most expensive residential neighbourhoods with a choice of various private schools, upmarket eateries, wine estates, beautiful homes and trendy apartments.
“The Southern Suburbs area is large and varied, and is predominantly residential. It is identified as being the more affluent of the Cape Town Metropolis with incredible family neighbourhoods. The properties vary from large plots of land, to a variety of older-style homes that range from cottage-style semis in Mowbray, Claremont and Wynberg, to more ornate and certainly far larger homes in Constantia, Newlands and Bishopscourt” says Delia Walters, Office Manager Engel & Völkers Southern Suburbs.
It boasts the ever popular University of Cape Town which lies on the mountain above Rosebank, Rondebosh, Mowbray and Observatory. When visiting the area there is always something to do to for young and old with a diverse mix of amenities and shopping areas like Cavendish Street, and depending on the time of year, you can even catch a game of rugby or cricket – in Newlands at the side-by-side rugby and cricket grounds, which are the home of the Stomers and Cape Cobras teams respectively. Tourists are attracted by the wine estates, the beautiful botanical gardens, various museums, hiking and walking trails and horse riding trails found throughout the suburb.
One can see why the Southern Suburbs will always be in demand and why it commands some of the highest property prices in Cape Town.
Average property value
There is no average, but there is certainly something for every buyer. Property values range from R1.2 million for a flat in Plumstead to R55 million for a house in Constantia.
Typical property type
As varied as the property prices are so are the homes. From R5 million for a trendy apartment in Upper Claremont to the beautiful palatial homes in Bishops Court and Constantia Upper. There is a combination of lock-up-and-go family homes with large gardens, beautiful cottages dating back to the late 1800’s early 1900’s and ample student accommodation in modern and affordable apartment blocks.
Trends and tips when buying property in the Southern Suburbs
Prices in the area will always be on the increase, so try not to be too set on an area or type of house. Delia advises that you consider your budget and then be realistic about what you can afford, you might have to compromise and buy an older home which needs some work in order to be able to afford to live in certain parts.
When moving from other parts of the country to the Southern Suburbs it can be quite a shock when you find that R2 million doesn’t really go very far. However, if you are on a limited budget, you do your research, and are prepared to downscale – anything is possible. If you are specifically moving into the Southern Suburbs for the schools, be sure to check the zoning for the school’s first. Real estate agents could be of great help here, so do not be too shy to ask.
What does the current market look like?
Buying a home in the Southern Suburbs will always be an investment. High rental returns make it a first choice for investment buyers wanting to grow a rental portfolio. Areas such as Rondebosch and Newlands have an ever increasing demand for student accommodation due to their close proximity to the University of Cape Town.
A large percentage are cash buyers due to the high price brackets of the properties, while first time buyers might find it harder to find their dream home at an affordable price. Don’t despair though, there is a property to suit almost everyone.
The Southern Suburbs as an investment option
- Consistent upward trajectory in house prices
- High rental return
- High rental demand for students and young professionals
- Excellent private girls and boys schools
- Close proximity to the city centre
- Scenic walks, hikes, equestrian trails and parks focused around a family lifestyle
- An abundance of restaurants, coffee shops, upmarket deli’s, art galleries and boutique shops
- A vast choice of modern homes, townhouses, mansions, heritage homes and apartments
Events to consider if you are in the area:
- Kirstenbosch Summer festival – every Sunday from the middle of November until the end of March. Live music performances by Prime Circle, The Parlatones, Mango Groove, Lira and Freshly Ground are some of the main acts which can be seen. Bring a picnic blanket and basket and enjoy an evening concert with a glass of wine.
- Cape Town Cycle Tour 2018 – Sunday 11th March 2018. Where thirty-five thousand cyclists embark on arguably the most scenic cycling race in the world.
- Two Oceans Marathon 2018 – 31 March 2018. This is by far the most scenic ultra-marathon in the world. It’s also one of the toughest, with the route taking runners over the gruelling Chapman’s Peak and Constantia Nek.
Delia’s recommendation of the top 10 things to do in the Southern Suburbs:
- Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanical gardens of the world; few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of this setting against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain.
- Rhodes Memorial situated on the Northern slope of Table Mountain, this vantage point not only allows a panoramic view but is one of the few vantage points where both the Atlantic and Indian oceans can be seen.
- Garden Tour at Cellars Hohenort – the exquisite gardens of The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel, nestled in the verdant winelands of Constantia, Cape Town, is nothing less than breath-taking to see. Colours erupt as Clivias and roses bloom; and countless shades of green blanket the landscape thanks to ferns, delicious monsters, herbs and camphor trees.
- Relax at the Liesbeek River – The Liesbeek River Project is a community project that has transformed an overgrown wasteland into an area where people can now go to read a book, meet the friends for tea or entertain the children with a spontaneous picnic lunch. Situated on the banks of the Liesbeek, the river is deep enough for children and dogs to have a paddle!
- Baxter Theatre – as both stage venue and producer the Baxter has received national awards for outstanding local performers and home productions. Classical music, opera, comedy, dance and dramatic theatre is presented throughout the year on a daily basis mornings, afternoons and evenings for all ages and tastes. Seasonal festivals run annually.
- Constantia Nek Farm – Gordon and Anne Kling own and produce Kling wines on Constantia Nek Farm. Constantia is the oldest winemaking region in the Southern Hemisphere and originated in 1685. Some of the finest wines are produced in this region and regularly received international and local acclaim.
- Purple Wine Tour – is a free extension of the Cape Town Blue Mini Peninsula City Sightseeing bus (more commonly known as the hop-on-hop-off bus). It explores a few of the wine estates in the Constantia Valley, which form part of the Constantia Valley wine route.
- Newlands Brewery – nestled at the foot of Devil’s Peak and neighbour to the historic rugby and cricket grounds, is the oldest operating brewery in South Africa and the home of great South African beer.
- Groote Schuur Estate – Groote Schuur big barn used to be the home of Cecil John Rhodes. The house sits in Rondebosch and was refurbished by Herbert Baker many years ago. This fascinating house is steeped in history, filled with original colonial furniture and is now a museum.
- South African Astronomical Observatory – up on what passes for a hill, just across the Liesbeeck River from the Southern Suburb of Observatory, is SAAO (South African Astronomical Observatory). It lies wedged between the River Club and Valkenburg, its grounds home to a number of domes, one of which houses the Victoria telescope, built back in 1897.
A list of ultimate favourite restaurants
Spoilt for choice, whether it is fine dining, pub food or the best burgers and chips, there is something for every palate and pocket.
- Harbour House in Constantia offers beautifully presented dishes and an array of seafood.
- Bistro Sixteen82 in Steenberg Tokai boasts their signature wines and tasty dishes served with a view.
- The Square at the Vineyard Hotel in Upper Claremont serves delicious meals for anytime of the day.
- Rock Sushi Thai – in Meadowridge serves the best sushi; noodle and Thai curry dishes in the Southern Suburbs.
- Starlings in Claremont, perfect for brunch and quick catch up with friends.
- Four & Twenty in Chelsea Village Upper Wynberg, a firm favourite for breakfast.
- Cafeen in Claremont Village, a gem of a coffee shop serving light meals and great coffee.
- Hudsons in Upper Claremont is a popular spot with students with great burgers and cocktails.
Places to stay in the Southern Suburbs
Catering for families on holiday or short business trips, there is a large variety of accommodation.
- The Alphen Hotel in Constantia
- The Cellars- Hohenort in Constantia
- The Andros Botique Hotel in Upper Claremont
- The Vineyard Hotel in Newlands
- Park inn by the Raddison in Newlands
Whether planning a visit or relocating – if you are not familiar with the Southern Suburbs yet, make sure to add it to your list of places to visit this new year.