Cape’s top schools and universities a boost for buyers from across the world

The success of the Cape Town property market is built on a number of pillars such as good governance, the fabulous location, tourism and attractions and the excellent schools and universities. Western Cape and Cape Town schools in particular frequently rank among the best performing when it comes to matric results according to the Seeff Property Group.

With pre-schoolers and matriculants heading into the second part of the year, it is that time of year when parents start thinking about schools and universities. Since there is a lot of competition for a good school or university, living close by such an establishment, has become sought-after.

Traffic pressures and lack of time, also makes living close to a good school or university, a top priority for many families. According to Samuel Seeff, chairman for the group, buyers will pay a premium of 20%-40% for a location close to a top ranked school. Areas close to top schools and universities also tend to fare better during a market downturn.

Seeff says, that the Cape’s top schools are also a big attraction for semigrating buyers and foreigners from across the continent and globe. A recent Lightstone study shows that more foreigners (predominantly expats) are buying property in the country and it is interesting that these are centred in areas with top schools, such as Rondebosch, Sea Point, Tamboerskloof, Century City, Sunningdale and Table View.

Seeff says that while there are the popular ‘academic’ belts such as the Southern Suburbs, there are actually good schools located throughout the Cape metro and into the Boland/Winelands area.

There are for example International Schools in Parklands, Claremont and Hout Bay, a German School in Tamboerskloof and a French School in the CBD with a branch in Sea Point. Other Cape areas that have fared well are home to private schools. These include Century City and so on.

Many areas now have a Curro Private School (or in progress or planned), as far as Langebaan and Hermanus, which has made quality education even more accessible. There are also some planned for the northern suburbs around Durbanville and so on which will further boost the desirability of Cape Town for families.

South Africa is also a major hub of top schools and universities for the rest of Africa. It is common for the children of wealthy people from other African countries to attend top schools in for example Sandton and Johannesburg, but also in Cape Town and this includes attending universities here and in places such as Rhodes.

Aside from the University of Cape Town (UCT), there the University of Stellenbosch, University of the Western Cape (in Bellville), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and a range of tertiary and vocational colleges including creative schools. These are all a big draw-card for the city, says Seeff.

James Lewis, MD for Seeff Southern Suburbs, Hout Bay & Llandudno says that a study done by Seeff showed that Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs was home to about 160 schools, the highest concentration in the country and including the highest concentration of top-performing schools with 100% matric pass rate.

In Rondebosch alone, there are 18 top schools including Bishops, Rondebosch Boys, Westerford High, SACS (South African College School) and Rustenburg Girls High School. In neighbouring Newlands, you can find Sans Souci Girls’ High and Westerford High, and in Claremont, Herschel Girls’ School. Other top schools in the Southern Suburbs/Constantiaberg area include Springfield Convent (Wynberg,) Constantia Waldorf School, Reddam and more.

UCT adds to the attraction of Rondebosch which means that it is desired for family homes and student accommodation, he says. Close to top schools such as Bishops, you can expect to pay around R8m-R12m for a family house, and in Newlands, from R5m-R15m.

The Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl is also not short of top schools according to Ian Slot, Seeff’s MD for the areas. Private schools include Herzlia (CBD) and Reddam House in Green Point along with primary and high schools in Camps Bay and Sea Point and a French School (CBD and Sea Point). There is also the German School in Tamboerskloof as noted above.

You can expect to pay around R5m-R15m on average for a family house in the City Bowl, around R8m-R18m in the Sea Point/Green Point and R12m-R22mm on average in Fresnaye/Camps Bay although top end properties do range well into the upper millions.

Buyers in the greater Blouberg area are also not short of tops schools according to Clinton Martle, Seeff Blouberg licensee. It is therefore no surprise that the area is attracting foreigners. There are about 20 schools including a number of private schools, the latest being a Curro Private School in Parklands North.

Many of these are top performers when it comes to the annual matric pass rate such as Parklands College, CBD St John’s and Elkanah House. There is also an International School in the area. Expect to pay around R1,8m-R2,8m for a nice family house with a swimming pool close to a top school.

The Boland/Winelands area is another regions in high demand for its top schools, says Pierre Germishuys, MD for Seeff Boland/Winelands. Towns such as Paarl, Stellenbosch and Worcester all boast excellent schools which regularly make the 100% matric pass rate list.

In Paarl, you can find the famous Paarl Boys’, Paarl Girls’ and Paarl Gymnasium along with La Rochelle and Boland Landbouskool. In Stellenbosch, there is a Waldorf along with Rhenish Girls’ High and Paul Roos and the Stellenbosch University, all of which boosts the demand from families and for student housing. Franschhoek has Bridge House School which caters from playschool to Grade 12 and also offers boarding facilities.

For a family house in Stellenbosch, you can expect to pay around R2,8m-R5,8m on average to as much as R8m-R14m close to an exclusive school. Paarl also has an excellent selection of family houses ranging around R1,8m-R2,8m on average to around R6m for a top location. Franschhoek’s family houses range from around R5,5m-R8m on average and upwards for a top end home, especially if in a sought-after lifestyle security estate.