Historically, residential properties in student towns around the world achieve a higher capital growth compared to the national average. “This is partly due to impact the influx of students has on the population, which in turn fuels the sustained rental demand,” says Louise Varga, Pam Golding Properties area manager for Stellenbosch.
In 1916, when Stellenbosch University was established, there were 558 registered students and 40 lecturing staff. By 1925, this number had almost doubled to 960. Now, just over a century later, there are more than 30 000 students and at least 3 000 staff members spread over five campuses.
Student towns are therefore big business for the property market, as the dearth of accommodation available in official university residences ensures that there is always a demand for apartments close to campus.
“Furthermore, it is not just students who need accommodation. The academics, lecturers and other staff involved with the university will also need somewhere to live.” This creates a need for retail and other amenities, which in turn results in a workforce who will also need accommodation in the area.
One of the new student developments in Stellenbosch that presents an appealing investment opportunity is The Niche, a 51-unit development with bachelor, one, two and three bedroom units from R1.5 million including VAT.
Contemporary in design, The Niche offers premium apartments with quality finishes and fittings, ideal for a student’s needs. Perimeter CCTV and an electric fence provide comprehensive security, and there is off-street parking with remote control access.
Maryke Geldenhuys, Pam Golding Properties agent for Stellenbosch, says that Dennesig, where The Niche is located, is emerging as the new de facto student hub. “The Niche offers an opportunity to invest in an area that looks set to be a hub for students and young professionals within the next five years.”
Adds Varga: “Off-plan developments such as The Niche offer a considerable return on investment, as the buyer benefits from capital growth even before the project is completed. At about R34 600/m2 for a three-bedroom unit, The Niche is the most value-for-money off-plan development on offer in Stellenbosch.
Given the high rental demand for accommodation close to campus, The Niche provides a sound investment opportunity for investors and parents looking for secure accommodation for their children.”