This is one council house that even the rich would love to live in

13 March 2018 - 06:00 By Bobby Jordan
One of the original bungalows on Clifton's Fourth Beach is going up for sale.
One of the original bungalows on Clifton's Fourth Beach is going up for sale.
Image: Supplied by ClareMart

It's not your typical council house. A City of Cape Town bungalow on Clifton's fourth beach goes under the hammer later this month in what promises to be one of the most unexpected property deals in recent years – and one of the most expensive.

It is still unclear how the city came to own one of Clifton's original beach bungalows‚ which rarely change hands‚ and for exorbitant sums when they do. It is also unclear why the property has sat unoccupied for some time when it could have been generating much-needed income.

However‚ the city on Monday confirmed the two-bedroom‚ 357m² property overlooking Fourth Beach is indeed up for sale‚ in line with its policy of disposing of non-core assets.

“In the past three financial years (2014/15 to 2016/17)‚ the city has sold and transferred 163 properties that are no longer required for municipal services‚” said Stuart Diamond‚ City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Assets and Facilities Management.

He said properties were identified for sale on a continuous basis.

“Properties are disposed of for a number of different uses and purposes including residential‚ social care (churches‚ crèches)‚ other government uses‚ business and industrial use‚ among others depending on the applicable or proposed zoning of the property‚” Diamond said.

The Clifton property is one of several due to be auctioned by ClareMart at Cape Town's One & Only Hotel on March 27‚ according to ClareMart general executive director Andrew Koch.

“It has been standing empty for some time and is completely surplus‚” Koch said. “Everyone is saying why didn’t they just Airbnb the property.”

“There are very few old existing Clifton bungalows left and this is one of them. It is not often that council owns such a property‚ and it is even more rare that council puts it up for sale‚” Koch said‚ adding that he was fielding a steady stream of enquiries from both potential developers and private individuals.

He said the current single-residential zoning allowed for a significant renovation.

“Therein lies the potential‚” Koch said. He declined to estimate a selling price‚ but conceded it would represent “a decent amount of money (the city) could add to the coffers.”

The bungalow sale has also drawn comment from Tony Ehrenreich‚ Cosatu Western Cape secretary‚ who believes the Clifton site should be used to promote integrate housing.

Diamond said properties deemed suitable for social housing were withdrawn from the disposal programme.