Student influx sees rising demand for student lodging in Cape Town

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According to student housing facility, StudentatHome, Adderley Street in Cape Town has seen a stream of national and international students drawn into the city to further their tertiary education. This has resulted in a high demand for student lodging, especially in the private accommodation sector as institutions are not able to accommodate the influx of students.


“Annually, the university over-allocates, so students who were allocated student accommodation no longer have a place to stay,” explained student representative council (SRC) chairperson Karabo Khakhau in an article on News24, highlighting the current crisis at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Property developers rapidly responding 

Provisions are being made but demand is currently outweighing supply. As a result, property developers are rapidly responding to the needs of the market. “There is not only a South African demand, there is a worldwide need for good, quality student accommodation,” explains Emily Whitefield, CEO of StudentAtHome.

“Private student accommodation is a growing property opportunity in SA, with over 30,000 students currently studying in the city centre,” says Whitefield.

“There is significant evidence within the current situation that the private sector will become progressively more involved in student housing, as it isn’t only viable, but are among the most attractive investments one can currently make in South Africa,” says Cédric le Bon, sales manager and senior broker at Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate.

High rent rates

The Cape Town CBD, in particular, has seen a boom for all types of accommodation, but students will see high rent rates due to the general high standard of living.

“Another big factor which has increased the rental and sales prices in the CBD has been the profitability of short-term holiday rentals which has in effect created a shortage of available apartments for long-term rentals, including student accommodation,” Le Bon explains.

“Developers tend to forget,” explains Whitefield, “how the management of student accommodation is vital for its existence.” The management team should adhere to strict, but fair rules, assisting tenants with completing their studies in a safe and loving environment.

Whitefield provides tips for students thinking of moving to Cape Town to study or re-applying for accommodation:

  • Planning – Start planning as soon as you start applying for university.
  • Deadlines – find out what the deadlines are to apply for accommodation.
  • Budget – Do some research of the different rates available and work on a budget.
  • Amenities – What does the accommodation include?
  • Rent – What is included in the rent?
  • Safety is key – Is the accommodation secure?
  • Area – In which area would you like to reside?
  • View – View the property in person before signing the contract.
  • Contract – Sign a contract and be attentive to the time period.



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