Cape Town, Getting your foot on the property ladder isn’t easy for first-time buyers. Lack of affordability, appropriately sized stock and suitable locations are all barriers to entry, with many people having to stay in the rental market due to these challenges. Dawie Swart, CEO of asset-management company Investicore, recognised these obstacles. “For a long time, the first-time home-buyer market in Cape Town hasn’t been easy to penetrate, and I wanted to change that,” he says.
The Pinnacle building in the heart of Cape Town, a recent Investicore purchase, will offer 239 well-priced apartments, with 48 already sold off-plan in the first two months.
Advantages of micro-living
“The concept behind micro-living is creating a neighbourhood within the building, and at The Pinnacle, we’ve done just that,” says Swart. In this micro-community where like-minded individuals live together in fully integrated social spaces, there’s a rooftop swimming pool, on-site restaurants and retail, wifi with hot desks, and meeting rooms. Security is top-of-mind for most South Africans, and The Pinnacle’s lock-up-and-go apartments are complemented by 24/7 security.
“The Pinnacle is creating a work-play-live lifestyle that speaks to the millennial, they are seeking a place to live that is close to work and has all the necessary conveniences, be it to get a bite to eat or entertaining friends on the rooftop,” says Emanuel Germanis, managing director of Evolution Properties, which has the sole-mandate to sell The Pinnacle.
The designer apartments are the work of Grant Gillis, renowned international interior designer and CEO of Delta International Design Studio. They all feature the comforts of modern living coupled with innovative spaces that move and adapt to their inhabitants’ needs. Mutable furniture transforms into smart storage units.
“Electricity and water usage is something that Capetonians need to be aware of, and we considered these factors in the design and construction of the apartments,” says Swart. The apartments are kitted out with brand-new kitchen appliances and LED lights, helping to keep energy usage as low as possible.
The micro-apartments offer cost-effective levies, and the rates and bond repayments are manageable. What’s more, “At The Pinnacle there are no transfer costs, which is a great help to first-time purchasers,” says Germanis.
Cape Town property is a sure thing
Cape Town has always been seen as a sound investment when it comes to buying property. Knight Frank’s 2018 Wealth Report ranks the city’s property market as the world’s second-top-performing market, and this is reflected in the high prices for asked and received for property in the Mother City, with the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl showing a combined growth of over 111% for the past five years. The city centre, too, is popular, with its spectacular views of Table Mountain and the harbour, first-class restaurants, and initiatives like “First Thursdays”, where art galleries and the like stay open to 9pm, letting people explore the city at night. Cape Town’s CBD is quickly becoming the new cosmopolitan hub of South Africa.
“With current high rentals in the city we offer the opportunity to buy, luxurious efficient spaces close to work,” notes Germanis. The Pinnacle is at the Epicentre of the city and its central location and over 170 parking bays, make it a sought-after address.
And despite the land-expropriation debate and a technical recession, South Africa’s economy isn’t all doom and gloom, and this applies equally to the country’s property market. Inflation has been kept under control, with consumer debt-to-income ratios dropping from highs of 87% in 2008 to 72% in 2017. Interest rates over the past few years have been low, which has sustained the property market at a steady pace, and even though there was a rise in 2017, it hasn’t affected the property market in a significant way. And this is all good news for buyers – there are opportunities out there for those who aren’t sitting on the fence waiting for the political situation to resolve itself.
Investicore is synonymous with upgrading not just properties but also their vicinity. “With our extensive property experience, the value of the assets we manage is optimised by improving the asset itself as well as the surrounding area, resulting in property value increasing and seeing a positive return on investments,” Swart explains.
The Urban Artisan residential building and 97 Durham Avenue, both in Salt River, are perfect examples of successful enterprises developed by Investicore. The success of these projects is not only reflected in the profitable income from theses premises, but most importantly how they turned this once-derelict industrial area into a sought-after address.
Live in or rent out
“We’re seeing huge interest by city workers anxious to spend more time enjoying their spare time and less time commuting,” says Germanis. And, with Cape Town a tourist mecca of the country, short-term letting is a great way to get a higher return on your investment. “Many homeowners are going this route to make a profit and get those bond repayments down,” he says. Totalstay will provide a short-term hospitality management offering at The Pinnacle, making it even easier to rent out your apartment.
“We’re happy to sit with prospective buyers and help them make the right informed choice to suit their pocket,” says Germanis.