How much it costs to live in the Cape Flats

Data compiled by property company Seeff shows how much it costs to live in one of South Africa’s most iconic areas – Mitchell’s Plain – in the Cape Flats.

Mitchell’s Plain is located on the False Bay coast, bound by the R300 and M7 motorways and lies between Muizenberg and Khayelitsha and is home to about 700,000 residents and a sizeable property market of about 88,000 homes, predominantly freehold.

The total property market transactions for the last year stands at around 2,322 sales to the combined value of R648 million. This translates to an average sales price of around R279,096, said Seeff.

In reality though, prices vary drastically across the area, from very affordable to middle-class as the flats comprises of a number of sub-areas, with the western half home to a wealthier population, noted Seeff.

Where the average price of a house at the lower end of the market was R85,000 in 2005, it is now R230,000, almost 270% more and up by 130% in the five years since 2010.

At the top end of the scale, the average price is up from R254,000 to R680,000 which also translates to about 270% growth over ten years and about 150% up since 2010.

Seeff said that although the area is faced with significant socio-economic challenges, it provides a good stepping-stone for lower income first time buyers.

An older basic cottage with up to three bedrooms costs about R300,000-R400,000 and while bigger houses that are a bit older with garden space can cost between R600,000-R800,000.

Bigger homes in the better areas can go for as much as R900,000 to R1.5 million on average, but can range to about R2.2 million for a spacious four-bedroomed home with modern finishes along with a double garage and swimming pool.

Seef said that many new developments are priced at a starting price of around R400,000.

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Many famous South Africans have called the area home at some point over the years, including Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown.

‘The flats’ includes a central business district (CBD), which includes the Promenade Shopping Centre, while its large informal economy remains.

The transport infrastructure includes rail, taxi and bus services with the MyCiti service now being extended into the area, while 85 schools serve the area’s residents.

Seeff warned that while ‘the flats’ is an exciting area for home buyers, especially first timers, this is also a sector plagued by challenges – obtaining home loans being the chief among these.

“Financial difficulty and poor credit worthiness drive many to the rental market which is quite substantial here,” the property company said.

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How much it costs to live in the Cape Flats