Best cities in South Africa

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Simon Bray chats to the Expresso show about which cities in South Africa are the best to live in and why.

Reporter: We are asking the question: "What is the best city to live in when it comes to South Africa?"' When it comes to the world rankings, our three main cities make the top 100 cut, a list which Vienna in Austria tops at number one, followed by Zurich and Auckland. Do you think that increases property sale when it comes to this?

Simon Bray: Absolutely. Property, like any asset class, is driven by perception. And the better the perception around a specific city - what it's like to live there, what the international attention is like, the sense of space and recreation pursuits that you can get up to in that location - all of that drives a positive perception around a particular place and that really fuels the property market. All of that attention creates demand and that demand results in higher prices for the property.

The cities that are ranked are: Durban, then Cape Town, then Johannesburg last. Would you say that is a fair assessment, looking at our three main cities?

Well it's fascinating to see Durban top the list, but if you just park that for a second the fact that we've got 3 cities in the top 100, this is the world rankings, these are cities from across the world and you can think of some beautiful names in that list. So it's great to see three of South Africa's cities there. And I think that's driven largely by the great scenery that we've got in the country, some excellent infrastructure, our cities really do work for the most part, and you just have to travel outside of South Africa's borders to see what a city can look like in Africa. So we're doing particularly well. I think where we let ourselves down - obvious areas around safety, a lot of the cities that top the list are very, very safe cities to live in. So if we can address those concerns, we can see those cities climb up the ranking and that's excellent news for any property owner.

Now, with the standings as is, with Durban being the number one most live-able city in South Africa at the moment, Cape Town and Johannesburg are still more expensive to live in. So, why is that? Why is it still relatively more affordable in Durban being the number one city?

It's really interesting. Cape Town, for a long time, has had the international focus of parliament, obviously, and so even within South Africa it's the darling of the property market. And so it's interesting to see Durban come out on top. Joburg you often think of as the economic powerhouse, you think of it as the centre of commerce. But I think what's really driving this Durban resurgence is a growth as a true African city. We're seeing a very multicultural, diverse scene happening in Durban. A lot of older areas are completely transforming, you're seeing an emergence of a black middle class in areas like Morningside, Berea, and Glenwood. And that's really good to see because that's really what we need from a South African perspective, is to start tapping into those real areas of the growth in the economy. So Durban's got a great story.

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