R24-billion will buy you downtown Cape Town

25 May 2016 - 13:03 By FARREN COLLINS and ARON HYMAN

The value of the properties that make up the 1.6km² area of downtown Cape Town has grown to nearly R24-billion from just R6.1-billion in 2006.Since June 2015 nearly R8-billion has gone into developing property in the city centre, and residential property prices have shot up to an average of R24483 per m².These figures were announced yesterday at the presentation of the latest report on the state of the city centre by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District.The main trend forecast for the city centre was growth in residential spaces, which burgeoned from 750 in 2000 to 7000 last year."It's all part of a plan to densify the CBD," Rob Kane, CCID chairman said, adding that this has led to a drive to build taller buildings.The huge demand for property has also given rise to the creation of a property-listing portal for the CBD, due to be launched soon.CCID spokesman Carola Koblitz said the website would be free for agents to list on and would allow users to view all properties for sale in the Cape Town CBD."Nothing is as focused on the CBD as we are intending this website to be," she said.Property prices in Cape Town's CBD are the highest they have ever been. A one-bedroom flat, for example, is currently to let for R8000 a month.Koblitz said they were trying to market affordable properties to young professionals."We're still missing student and affordable accommodation. We want to incentivise private investors to build affordable housing as a way of clamping down on exorbitant property costs and getting more people to live in the CBD," she said.Property economist Irvin Rode said that the only two spaces to the east of the CBD that could be developed into affordable housing were District Six and Culemborg."They will have to develop that into medium residential. That will be the only way to bring working-class people into the CBD."Rode said that over time the city centre would become an attractive place to stay while businesses would move due to congestion.

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