Gardens or ‘The Gardens’ in Cape Town is broadly acknowledged as one of the city’s prettiest suburbs. A local real estate expert attributes its attractiveness, in large part, to the suburb’s beautifully maintained properties, amongst other aesthetic elements. Gardens’ residents are by and large fairly affluent. They are house- proud and are prepared to put time, money and effort into their properties which has inevitably uplifted the neighbourhood overall.
Gardens lies to the south of Cape Town’s city centre directly beneath Table Mountain and the Lions Head and comprises the upper portion of Cape Town’s City Bowl area, a locality that is another strong draw card in its own right. Gardens’ position astride Table Mountain’s lower flanks affords many of its residents enviable views. Another position related boon is the fact that a number of Gardens’ uppermost properties back on to the historic and beautiful Table Mountain National Park which adds a further dimension to the area.
Another aesthetically appealing element is Gardens’ popular De Wal Park which provides a pleasant green lung for residents. The area is further characterised by meticulously maintained, tree lined streets, some of which are cobbled and lined by Cape Town’s earlier cottage properties.
Gardens’ property market is reportedly something of a ‘mixed bag’. According to the latest Lightstone report on the area, 63% of Gardens’ property market comprises sectional title properties with the remaining percentage made up by freehold properties. Unsurprisingly the most expensive and luxurious properties, the bulk of which are freehold, are situated on the upper slopes of the suburb and range in price from R4,5m to R15m.
The rest of the property market is characterised by sectional title loft apartments priced around R550 000; one and two bedroom clusters priced at between R700 000 and R2m and semi-detached cottages which move from R1, 7m up. Currently the most activity is apparently occurring in the R800 000 to R1, 5m price bracket.
Lightstone statistics state that to date, 63 sectional title properties have been sold in 2011 for around R1,2m on average and 29 freehold properties have been sold at an average price of R4,4m. Rental-wise Garden’s is currently enjoying robust demand. Studio apartments are leasing for between R3000 and R5000pm; one bedroom lofts are being rented for around R4, 500pm and two bedroom properties lease for between R5000 and R8000pm on average.
Gardens’ locality, superior infrastructure and overall charm has led Cape Town’s creative community to set up shop in the area. Contained within Gardens’ boundaries are eTV’s studios, a number of modelling agencies, production and publishing companies. Interestingly, one or two these entities have taken up residence in Gardens’ cottage properties. In terms of general amenities, residents aren’t left wanting. Chic restaurants, hotels (including the world-famous, five star Mount Nelson Hotel) boutique shops, schools, medical facilities and a number of police stations all lie either within the suburb or are close at hand.
Positives aside, trading conditions have reportedly been difficult of late with a depressed property market, global economic turmoil, the Consumer Protection Act and National Credit Act all having taken their toll. New residential development has also tapered off in the area and market stock is fairly thin on the ground. That said, Gardens’ fundamentals and general aesthetic appeal will no doubt stand the suburb in good stead in the years to come.