Accommodation in Cape Town
Options for accommodation in Cape Town are plentiful and expats will need to decide on their priorities before choosing the area and type of housing that best suits their needs.
The city centre is relatively small and there are a number of neighbourhoods nestled in the midst of Table Mountain, Lion's Head and Signal Hill in the City Bowl. Residential communities flank the mountain on either side, stretching up along the coast and down along the mountain into surrounding suburbs and family-friendly developments.
House prices in Cape Town are among the highest in the country, with the most expensive per square metre rates situated closer to the city centre and seaside neighbourhoods.
Types of accommodation in Cape Town
Expats will find that there is plenty of choice when it comes to types of accommodation. The city has everything from high-rise apartments and beachside cottages, to neat townhouses and large free-standing houses with big gardens. There are also a number of options for furnishing. Expats looking to rent long-term may want to rent unfurnished and bring their own furnishings, while those in the city for a shorter period may prefer furnished accommodation.
Once an expat has settled on the size and type of property they want, whether they're willing to tolerate morning and afternoon traffic and whether they would prefer to be in a leafy suburb or a colourful city district, they can begin house hunting.
Finding accommodation in Cape Town
An abundance of real estate agents in Cape Town provide free services for both renters and buyers. In South Africa, property owners bear the burden of paying agents to find tenants or owners for their houses and flats. Real estate agencies are great resources for finding out what kind of accommodation is available on the market.
Otherwise, expats can check weekly listings in major local newspapers as well as property websites and online classifieds. Upon finding a suitable place, expats should email or phone the advertiser to arrange a viewing. Expats should note that properties go quickly in Cape Town, therefore it is best to work swiftly.
Renting accommodation in Cape Town
Most accommodation is available on a yearly contract, which is subject to an annual increase, even if renewed. Utilities are rarely included in rental prices which continue to rise on the back of increased demand and limited supply. On the upside, domestic help is extremely affordable in South Africa, and many expats spoil themselves with this small luxury.