Property Advice

Western Cape’s top schools are influencing the property market

Private Property South Africa
Sarah-Jane Meyer |
Western Cape’s top schools are influencing the property market

The recent matric results validate the significance of choosing a school as a factor influencing family buyers when selecting a home to buy.

Pam Golding Properties says the Western Cape’s sustained excellent academic results over several years has made it one of the top-performing provinces in South Africa. This underpins its popularity with parents who want to settle their children in a stable educational environment.

The top-performing schools in the Western Cape also show an encouraging spread of high-achieving facilities – across new and old, as well as private and public institutions, across various suburbs and towns.

“There is a broad choice of private and government schools available to family buyers in the property market at present,” says Basil Moraitis, Pam Golding Properties regional manager in the Western Cape.

Cape Town

Cape Town areas renowned for their excellent schools include the southern suburbs and city bowl, the Western seaboard and the northern suburbs.

“Property buyers with school-going or undergraduate children definitely look for homes that give them entrance and easy access to preferred schools, such as St Cyprians and Reddam in the city bowl and southern suburbs, for example,” says Moraitis. “It’s a major factor in their final buying decision, and in areas like Rondebosch, Newlands and the city bowl, the residential buying market is strongly influenced by the schools in these suburbs, which have established sterling reputations over many decades.

“There is no doubt that competition for places at these top schools is fierce and that buyers may well be prepared to compromise on other features of their homes to be closer to their preferred schools. This can also impact pricing, as it ensures sustained demand and good resale prospects, and reduces supply and turnover. In addition, buyers who have bought to be close to a school are likely to be long-term residents in the neighbourhood until their children have completed their education.”

Boland and Overberg

Similar factors influence the market in the Boland and Overberg regions, where Annien Borg, managing director for Pam Golding Properties in these regions, says tradition and family history also play a significant role.

“Many of our buyers are families with school-going children or those attending Stellenbosch University and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Wellington,” she says. “Many of them grew up in the region themselves and want their children to attend the same schools that they did, especially because of their reputation for academic and sporting achievement. Some parents who live further away from the major centres buy smaller properties in town to use when visiting their children at school, or even stay during the week and then return home over weekends.

“One of the key motivations for buyers deciding to move to an area is great schooling and opportunities for their children. This is one of the reasons why the demand for property in the Boland and Overberg regions has always been good.”

This year a Paarl Boys High pupil was the top student in South Africa, and two Stellenbosch pupils - from Rhenish High and Paul Roos Gimnasium - achieved the second and third highest marks in maths.

“The Boland region offers a wide range of schools catering for everyone’s needs, with one of the newest being a Green School just outside Paarl, close to the award-winning Val de Vie Estate. Sports also play a major role in choosing schools, and the Western Cape schools offer excellent facilities,” says Borg.

She says that Covid-19 made it possible for more parents to work from home, encouraging more buyers to look at outlying areas like the Whale Coast towns of Hermanus, Onrus, Pringle Bay and Betty’s Bay. All of these towns have excellent private and public schools.

“All these factors increase the demand for property in areas and suburbs close to top schools where residents pay a premium to live.”

Smaller towns

Although some of the smaller outlying towns may appear under-serviced when it comes to schools, Borg says they are increasingly becoming viable options for family buyers. This is because new private schools are opening there and regular transport services to the larger towns are being established.

“It is very feasible to live in villages like McGregor, Greyton or Riebeeck-Kasteel and commute to the schools in neighbouring larger towns, such as Malmesbury, Caledon and Robertson,” says Borg.

From the above, it’s that education and proximity to schools will continue to be dominant factors in the property searching process.

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