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Cost of housing in the southern suburbs of Cape Town

AhmAl's picture
By AhmAl - Posted on
05 December 2011
Hi, I am planning to move to Cape Town, and would be interested in knowing how much  I should set aside for a family of three (husband, wife & infant), if we set aside medical expenses, how much should be approximate? Few points to consider are:

- We intend to live in Claremont/ Newlands.
- We intend to rent a secure 1 or 2-bed apartment furnished or unfurnished.
- Is walking a safe option in Claremont? Say in morning & evenings?

Thanks in advance for your advises... Regards, A-
Stephanie's picture
Last seen: 3 years 12 weeks ago
Joined: 19/04/2010

Living in:
Cape Town, South Africa

Charlotte, North Carolina (the USA)

Stephanie's Website
Hi A-

I live on Cape Town's Atlantic Seaboard, but can nonetheless share some insight about the cost of living in the city. In my opinion, you need at least 20,000 to live a basic, comfortable life as a family of three with a young infant. Keep in mind that if you live in the Southern Suburbs you'll 100 percent need a car to get around, thus I've included this in the list of monthly expenses.

Expenses can be broken down as follows (does not allow for any savings):

-7000 to 9000 ZAR for rent each month (water included)
-600 ZAR for electricity 
-1400 to 1600 ZAR for second-tier healthcare plan if you are on a cost to company package (your company pays half - covers the whole family)
-2500 ZAR a month for car insurance and a lease (obvioulsy this amount is variable depending on how much money you can initially put down, and what kind of car you're buying)
-400 ZAR petrol
-4000 ZAR per month groceries
-1000 miscellaneous (security company for the house, cell phone bills, etc.)

Keep in mind this is a basic budget. I would also recommend you read the Cost of Living in South Africa page to get some insight on what influences expenses. Let me know if you have anymore questions, I'm happy to help :)

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cornwall's picture
Last seen: 3 years 24 weeks ago
Joined: 16/02/2011

Hi there!

A secure two-bedroom flat in Claremont or Newlands will cost somewhere in the region of R5,000 to R7,000 per month.  You might be able to find something cheaper, but then your neighbours'll probably be students, or else the apartment block won't be the greatest.

If you've got the budget to spend R10,000 or more a month, you could find a truly beautiful, furnished place (maybe even with a pool) without any problem.

Claremont and Newlands are both relatively safe areas, and should be fine to walk around in the mornings and evenings. Like in any city in the world, things get a little dodgier the closer to Main Road you venture, so bear that in mind when you're house-hunting.
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AhmAl's picture
Last seen: 3 years 28 weeks ago
Joined: 05/12/2011

I have few more questions:

Do the owners like to bargain when fixing rentals (some may prefer long term contracts while some owners don't like to rent to bachelors)

How much brokers charge incase they arrange a flat/ house.

What is best way to see flat/ house directly from owners? Does placing ads have any response rate?

Is there any peak season when rentals are higher than annual average?


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Stephanie's picture
Last seen: 3 years 12 weeks ago
Joined: 19/04/2010

Living in:
Cape Town, South Africa

Charlotte, North Carolina (the USA)

Stephanie's Website
Hi AhmAl-

In answer to your questions:

1. Some owner's will bargain, so it's always worth a try. You can ask to lower the rent, give less of a security deposit, ask them to include additional furnishings, and you must not be afraid to point out problems with the flat - and tell them you'll take it as long as they fix certain things. The Cape Town rental market is not so cut throat that one million people will be banging down the door with cash in hand. That said, summer is peak season, so holiday makers and those looking for short-term accommodation skew the market slightly. 

2. In South Africa, if real estate agents or brokers arrange a rental contract, their fee is the responsibility of the property owner, not the tenant :) Though, in most cases, if a property owner is marketing or managing their property through an agency, then the rent has been inflated accordingly to account for these fees - so in a roundabout way, you kind of end up paying them anyway. 

3. If you want to view houses directly from owners, the best places to look are and in the Real Estate section of the Cape Ads (little paper that comes out on Thursday). If you do find something you like, arrange an appointment to view as soon as possible. Furthermore, be ready to say yes to the flat if you like it, and then start negotiating. 

4. Peak Season is, unfortunately, now (December through March). Cape Town, if you haven't noticed, is a vacation hotspot, and so there's a huge influx of visitors during the holiday season and during the city's summer (which runs from December to March). Thus rental costs increase slightly, and you have a lot more people to contend with. Come April/May, costs stabalise and demand decreases, thus owners are more likely to negotiate if you don't look like a serial killer and can prove you have a reliable income.
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