Property News

Cape Town gets new vertical village

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roperty developer BlackBrick has just launched their first luxury micro-apartment development in the Mother City.

The Cape Town development in partnership with Ryan Joffe Properties follows on the success of BlackBrick’s first 208-apartment development in Sandton, Johannesburg.

BlackBrick Cape Town is located in the former African Guarantee Building – now redesigned into nine stories of 100 luxury micro-apartments, along with a mix of hospitality amenities, including cinema, workspaces, boxing gym, rooftop clubhouse, yoga boma, terrace and café. It’s run as an urban apart-hotel.

There’s 24-hour, controlled-access security and secure parking bays are available as a rental option. Apartment sizes range from 23m2 to 36m2 and start at R895,000. Buyers also have a fully-furnished option, courtesy of Weylandts.

The development offers buyers a significant tax benefit in terms of the Urban Development Zone (UDZ) rebate, which allows purchasers to deduct 30% of the purchase price against their taxable income over a five‑year period.

According to founder Moritz Wellensiek their vision is to eventually create an integrated global network of vertical villages as solution for a multi‑city lifestyle. The BlackBrick team is now developing Sandton and Umhlanga and looking at options in Los Angeles, New York and Lisbon.

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SA property affiliate wins big in Europe

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rban regeneration development Iulius Town Timișoara was named “5 Star Winner Best Mixed-use Development Romania” at the recent European Property Awards. A partner of South Africa’s Atterbury Property Group, Atterbury Europe is also in partnership with Iulius Town Timișoara.

It’s the highest distinction in this category for Romania and the specialised international jury judged on features such as location and city connectivity, architecture, sustainability and innovation, integrated facilities and services, uses and impact within the community.

Says Atterbury Europe CEO Henk Deist, “The Atterbury Europe team, together with our partners, are thrilled to be the recipients of this highly coveted international accolade. We couldn’t be more proud to be associated with the Iulius group and the highly skilled and professional Iulius Town Timisoara team.”

Representing a €450m (±R8,3bn) investment, the Iulius Town Timisoara development is recognised for its integrated mixed-use concept, positive community impact, and innovation. It’s the only mixed-use project in the west of Romania.

Iulius Town Timișoara is seen as a landmark due to its innovative combination of retail, office, park and public infrastructure. It features premium green offices, high-end brands, and entertainment destinations in Romania’s western region. The precinct includes a fully fitted-out park with mature trees, lawn, lake, outdoor squares and promenades.

It also introduced connectivity between the project and the city, playing a significant part in urban revitalisation and mobility with a traffic underpass, pedestrian connections and upgrades to arterial roads, which are rarely found in European real‑estate developments.

The park’s importance for its community was emphasised all the more last year when outdoor socialising became the norm.

“Atterbury Europe views development and investment as the keys to unlocking economic and societal growth and improvement. This approach ensures that we can sustainably build on our longstanding partnerships with our fellow investors, professionals and communities wherever we operate,” said Deist.

Market buoyant despite repo rate let-down

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he decision by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to retain the repo rate at 3.5% (home loan base rate at 7%) is disappointing for the economy and property market, says Samuel Seeff, chairman, Seeff Property Group.

“We’ve seen what last year’s rate cuts did for the economy and property market with better than expected results during the second half of 2020,” says Seeff.

Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO, RE/MAX of Southern Africa, agrees that another interest rate cut could have helped alleviate some of the financial pressure. He advises homeowners to leave room in their budget for a possible increase of around 0.5 basis points during the course of 2021 as the SARB indicated that a gradual repo rate increase was likely towards the end of 2021.

Nonetheless, says Seeff, 2021 kicks off with a great buyers’ market, especially in the low to mid-market areas to R1,8m (R3m in some areas) and selectively in the upper price bands. As more buyers take advantage of the record-low interest rate of 7%, mortgage brokers like BetterBond saw bond application volumes increasing by 53% year on year in December.

“The word has spread that the lower interest rate means buyers can afford up to 30% more than if they had applied for a bond in January last year. With so many of us working from home, we’re definitely seeing more buyers applying for bonds to secure their dream homes,” says Betterbond CEO Carl Coetzee.

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Samuel Seeff

Developer announces redesigned apartments

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roperty developer Horizon Capital has redesigned their boutique apartment block, The Vera, in Vredehoek, Cape Town.

According to the developer, the new design complements the architectural language of Vredehoek and is a modern take on the prevalent art-deco style of the 1930s.

The limited collection of 15 apartments include studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units as well as two penthouses – one with a private Jacuzzi entrance and wrap-around balcony, and the other a suite apartment with a Jacuzzi entrance.

The development also offers a back-up generator, custom‑designed workspaces and free fibre for a year. Security features include safe parking, CCTV, access control and electric fencing.

The Vera is 5km from the V&A Waterfront and close to local parks, mountain trails and neighbourhood cafés. Apartment prices start from R1,595m.

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