Got R175k? Ramaphosa's Fresnaye mansion may be the perfect rental for you

27 December 2020 - 00:02
Pengilly House in Clifton, which is considered one of the most exclusive rentals in SA.
Pengilly House in Clifton, which is considered one of the most exclusive rentals in SA.
Image: Supplied

Had a stressful year? Fancy some chill time in the president’s seaside house to ease into the new year? Yours for only R175,000 a month.

A Fresnaye mansion owned by Cyril Ramaphosa is one of the rentals up for grabs along Cape Town’s Atlantic seaboard. If you’re lucky you may even spot the president — he owns the house next door, for private use only.

Alternatively, for those who can still afford it, you could buy your own house at a slightly discounted “pandemic price”.

Cape Town estate agents report encouraging signs at the top end of the market despite the economic havoc wreaked by Covid-19 lockdowns.

Demand for holiday rentals along Cape Town’s Atlantic seaboard is strong, due to the Covid pandemic.
Demand for holiday rentals along Cape Town’s Atlantic seaboard is strong, due to the Covid pandemic.
Image: Supplied

The market is being buoyed by South Africans who would normally have holidayed overseas but are staying local due to lockdown restrictions abroad — such as mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

“The season will be a very busy one,” said Lance Cohen, owner of Lance Real Estate. “All those people who would have travelled abroad in past years will not [do so]. There is a very big demand locally.”

The rental hunt has heated up due to limited availability, caused in part by property owners having committed to long-term rentals at the height of the pandemic. “A lot of the very good inventory has already been rented out,” Cohen said.

He said overall the rental market is also profiting from a marked decrease in sales at the high end, with sales along the Atlantic seaboard between the V&A Waterfront and Llandudno amounting to only R344m during a period of just over three months earlier this year. This included two sales of more than R50m each.

For those in the market to buy, top-end prices in some cases are significantly lower than pre-Covid levels.
For those in the market to buy, top-end prices in some cases are significantly lower than pre-Covid levels.
Image: Supplied

Cohen said rental offerings include a Clifton property on the market at R500,000 a month, or an eye-catching getaway on Kloof Road for R112,000 a day.

If the president’s property is not to your taste you might consider another of Cape Town’s premium villas, Pengilly House, owned by London-based business person Lloyd Pengilly. His Clifton mansion is considered one of the most exclusive rentals in SA.

Pengilly said there is huge interest in the property, thanks to the pandemic. “The rental market is strong and vibrant,” he said. “There’s an influx of people trying to escape lockdowns in Europe and elsewhere, and they can’t get to the ski resorts this year, so Cape Town is a good, safe alternative.”

In numbers

• R175,000 - Monthly rental for a Fresnaye house owned by President Cyril Ramaphosa

• R120 million - Price tag for a prime property in Nettleton Road, Clifton

• R1 12,0 00 - Daily rental for a property on Kloof Road

• R76,000 - Average cost per square metre of a Nettleton Road property 

For those in the market to buy, top-end prices in some cases are significantly lower than pre-Covid levels. Denise Dogon of Dogon Group Properties is selling a prime home overlooking Clifton that has mountain and sea views from each of its five bedrooms and an infinity pool that spans the width of the house — a snip at R120m.

Dogon said the fact that the Nettleton Road property is up for sale shows that the market is reviving.

“The worst was the beginning of lockdown when everyone was in a kind of state of shock and almost frozen in the moment,” she said. “No sales took place at all. It seemed at the time that it was all over and nothing would ever be sold or bought again.

“And then the frost melted … and though there was a lack of international buyers as no-one was travelling, we started getting busy again and ended up with a record July.”

Dogon predicts prices will rise next year due to the shift to working from home. “This makes the Cape a very desirable place to live,” she said.


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