While many student towns experience a severe shortage in student accommodation this is not the case in Potchefstroom.
Abe Pretorius, Seeff’s MD in Potchefstoom, says that NWU offers 28 residences (22 on campus and the rest in town) and another four developments suited for student accommodation are either underway or soon to be completed.
“While there are still many students who prefer to live in university residences, we see a fair amount who request private accommodation.
Private accommodation offers independence away from the rules and regulations of living in a residence and at the same time caters to a student’s every need, including security features, parking and wifi.
There is not enough parking on campus for students, so when selecting private accommodation a strong focus is placed on proximity to the university - especially for first and second year students.
While student homes or communes were a trend in Potchefstoom in the past, they are becoming fewer and fewer as the responsibility that goes along with managing a student home (security, garden services and constant maintenance) sometimes becomes overwhelming for an investor who does not reside close to their investment.
Rooms in student homes cost around R3000 per month and include features like wifi, parking, garden services and in many instances also cleaning services.
Seeff Pochefstroom has around 210 properties listed that are suitable for students at the moment.
These consist of some student homes (communes), bachelor, one and two bedroom apartments or townhouses.
NWU has four access gates which students can use to enter the University depending on what they study.
There is a gate for students who study toward a degree in education, one for students studying toward a medical qualification, one for engineering students and then the main entrance.
Seeff Potchefstoom has property available close to every one of these gates. This area is known as “Die Bult”.
Rental prices here are around R2800 – R3895 per month for a bachelor unit, R3800 – R5000 per month for a one bedroom apartment and R5000 – R7500 per month for a two bedroom apartment.
While in the past rental accommodation in Potchefstoom used to have a fixed escalation rate of 10% annually, inflation took a knock in 2017 and 2018. Around 60% of our units had no increase and the rest an escalation rate of around 5%.
If you are an investor renting out your property to students it is important to deal with an agency who undertakes inspections at the commencement and termination of the contract and who deals with non-payers quickly and efficiently”.
Pretorius concludes that there have been serious security concerns in Die Bult area for some time, but that various role players including NWU and the City council are implementing action plans to counter criminal activity.
“An NGO has been founded to manage the area’s municipal services on ground level including refuse removal and cleaning and a satellite branch of the police station to create more visibility and enhanced security is also underway.”