Good schools impact property prices

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

As Benjamin Franklin once said:

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

There is a growing concern about the standard of education in South Africa, and parents are going to great lengths to ensure that their children attend the “right” school.

The Western Cape is fortunate to have a plethora of excellent schools. What effect is this having on the property market in the areas in which they are situated?

Lew Geffen, chairman: Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty, says there’s no doubt that suburbs in the catchment areas of good public schools command a premium, and the best and oldest schools in Cape Town are generally to be found clustered in the Southern Suburbs. However, these areas are not appealing to local buyers only.

“In the past four to five years the Western Cape has experienced the Great Trek in reverse, but this time across all racial lines,” says Geffen. “The number of ‘commuter’ families has conservatively quadrupled in this period, with the primary breadwinner still working in Gauteng during the week and returning to his or her family over weekends.” He adds that it’s not only good schools that are driving the relocation trend. “People are moving their families down to the Cape because they perceive it to be infinitely safer, with a much higher standard of basic service delivery.”

Laurie Wener, MD: Pam Golding Properties Western Cape metro region, says an example of the impact a good school can have on prices attained is evident in the suburb of Penzance in Hout Bay. “Two years ago you wouldn’t have found a property priced at more than R3m in this area. In fact, most were priced from R2m–R2,5m. The new Hout Bay International School has definitely boosted prices, and homes now typically sell for R3m.”

She says other areas which are benefitting from good schools include Claremont, Rondebosch, Constantia and Kenilworth in the Southern Suburbs and Durbanville, Kenridge, Eversdal and Welgemoed in the north.

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

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