Cape Town’s new tallest building promises ‘affordable’ housing for the inner-city

Cape Town property developer FWJK has come under fire for its plans to offer “affordable housing” inside it new Zero-2-One skyscraper.

If given the go-ahead, Zero-2-One, planned for the corner of Strand and Adderley Street, will be the tallest building in Cape Town and will contain more than 620 apartments.

This includes 104 affordable apartments which will sell for less than R800,000.

Speaking to GroundUp , regional director Craig Armstrong said that the apartments would be sold on a “first-come first-served basis to qualifying buyers”.

Clarifying what was meant by “qualifying buyers”, Armstrong said the target market was the “sectional title sale development market” and that the company believed market forces will prevail through the provision of such low priced apartments in the City Centre.

FWJK promised that its planned city centre skyscraper will include affordable housing – and the price of the “affordable” apartments will be “less than R800,000”.

“We are not aware of any apartments currently selling in the City Centre at well under R1 million,” he said.

While activists speaking to GroundUp said that they planned to use the tower’s development as a springboard for the creation of affordable housing in all future developments, Armstrong’s pricing estimations appear to be in-line with housing data provided by FNB and other banks.

According to FNB’s July House Price Index, The Western Cape continues to be the most expensive in South Africa, with an average transaction price estimated at R1.437 million in the 2nd quarter of 2017, the next highest average price being that of Gauteng at an estimated R1.050 million.

While FNB said this is finally beginning to cool off, there is a separate issue of even middle-class earners being priced out of certain areas in and around the city.

According to a recent report by PropertyWheel, middle income earners have effectively been priced out of Cape Town CBD, leading to costly commutes as they travel to and from the area for work and socialising.

Read: What you’d need to earn to pull yourself out of poverty in South Africa

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Cape Town’s new tallest building promises ‘affordable’ housing for the inner-city