Airdates: Friday Jan 19 11:30pm E|10:30 C Saturday Jan 20 2:30am E|1:30 C
Chef Krista went to France to become a sommelier and then decided to sell her California home and move to Paris permanently. With the market booming and home prices in Paris on the rise, Krista calls on her best friend, Stanley, to help her invest her life savings. She wants the cafe culture of central Paris with a big enough space to entertain. For better or worse, Stanley won't let her settle, even if her small budget requires some concessions.
This week's French Property Insider comes to you from Cape Town, South Africa where my daughter and I are vacationing. This doesn't rule out being fascinated by the local real estate market, especially when every destination is also a possible place to live. Don't get me wrong -- I have no intention of leaving France, but there is no doubt that while Paris is cold and wet in the middle of winter, heading to the other hemisphere where summer is still in bloom can be a welcome reprieve.
During our week in Cape Town, we met several non-natives, relatively new to the city who had made the choice to move here...from the U.K., Canada and the U.S. They come from cold climates and are reveling in the warm Cape Town breezes, not to mention the dramatic scenery the Mother City has to offer. After spending a week here, I can certainly understand their interest.
According to Fin24 and New World Wealth, Cape Town is tops in Africa for prime property. We're staying in a Bed and Breakfast in the area of the city known as "Green point," one of the central neighborhoods situated between the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and Signal Hill on the Atlantic seaboard, popular as a great residential area for young professionals and Cape Town's gay and lesbian community. It's considered to be some of the most desirable real estate on the whole West Coast, trendy, vibrant, diverse and cosmopolitan. The B&B owners were singing the praises of the ownership of their properties here, watching their values mount before their very eyes.
From Green Point, as you go west and south along the Atlantic Seaboard, the landscape is similar to the French Riviera, boasting of sea views from contemporary homes and apartment blocks stacked on the hillside, anchored by Table Mountain, starting with Sea Point, Bantry Bay, Clifton Beach, Camps Bay and Bakoven. The winds can be quite forceful there, but property here sells for about 82,000 rand per square meter ($6,685 /m2). By comparison, Monaco real estate sells for about 678,000 rand/m² ($55,243/m²) Compare this again with New York at about 522,000 rand/m² ($42,496/m²), and London with about 494,000 rand/m² ($40,216/m²).
News 24 reported this past April that the Global Cities Index report touted Cape Town as the third in the world for property price growth, with values growing 3.9% in 2016, giving both New York and Paris a "run for their money." Moneyweb confirms the report by saying "The average prices of property on the Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town have more than doubled since 2012, and are up nearly sevenfold since 2001. And there’s no sign of a slowdown, yet, with a “massive” and still accelerating growth of 22.9% in the fourth quarter of last year. This research, conducted by FNB Household and Property Sector Strategist John Loos, used Deeds Office data across various sub-regions in the Cape metro."
I was even more enamored of one small area of the city known as "Bo-Kaap" as one spot where investment should be considered. Famous for it's brightly colored cottages and cobblestoned streets, this inner city area is seeing major changes and urban improvement. The district is destined for a booming short term rental market and revenue potential. The moment I read about this future for Bo-Kaap, I was reminded of the short-term rental issues in Paris because at some point, the city officials may not want to turn Bo-Kaap into a total tourist destination.
We also made a point of visiting Woodstock, one of Cape Town’s very first suburbs. It will hold its value and perform at high levels, according to the trends. The colorful houses are particularly seductive to someone like me who likes to break out of the norm. The demand here is high and that fuels the price increases, but there is still plenty of room for growth.
The five areas outperforming the overall average house price growth seen across the metro area over the past five years are, as obvious from what we witnessed are:
* The Atlantic Seaboard (from Green Point to Hout Bay) (104.4% five years, 683.9% 15 years) * City Bowl -- central Cape Town (89.9% five years, 546.6% 15 years) * The eastern suburbs near the city (areas such as Woodstock, Salt River and Pinelands) (72.7% five years, 432.4% 15 years) * The Southern Suburbs (extending from Rondebosch to Muizenburg) (63.6% five years, 433.8% 15 years) * Southern Peninsula (including Simon’s Town, Fish Hoek, Noordhoek) (61.7% five years, 411.2% 15 years)
Like Paris, land is in short supply due to the natural boundaries of the mountains and the sea. Safety is a big issue in the South African town, so when considering purchasing property in Cape Town, know that the safest areas of the city have the highest growth.
Does this tempt me to invest in Cape Town? Yes! But would I give up France just yet? Don't think so!
P.S. Planning a trip to Paris this summer, maybe to search for your own pied-à-terre? Now's the time to book your apartment. Contact our Bookings Manager, Patty, now and find your perfect place to stay while searching for your home away from home!
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