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CAPE TOWN: Our insider’s guide to Tokai

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Suburb is close to shopping centres, excellent schools, restaurants and a business node, and has easy access to mountains and beaches

Fewer than 25 minutes from Cape Town CBD, outside peak traffic, Tokai offers predominantly single-storey homes on large plots, surrounded by some of the finest recreational opportunities, and with easy access to schools and shopping and health facilities.

“Tokai is a well-established neighbourhood, with homes on large plots with lush gardens, surrounded by mountains and forests,” says resident Michelle Richards.

“What is most striking about the area, though, is the prevailing sense of common spirit. It’s a happy community, with loads of children and people walking their dogs or riding bikes. Residents come together at times of need, be it about a lost pet or set of keys.”

Pleasant Place is typical of the neighbourhood’s tree-lined streets and single-storey homes set on large plots. Picture: Tracey Adams/African Agency (ANA)

Tokai is an area which, on paper, has so many diverse and incongruent elements, it should never work as a suburb, says Anton du Plessis, principal agent with Vineyard Estates. 

“But it does. In fact, it is a convenient, well-established and highly sought-after residential neighbourhood. There’s the contrast between Pollsmoor, on one side of the road, and the high-end Steenberg Golf Estate, with home sales of R22million and R30m, on another.”

Du Plessis maintains the precinct has distinct personalities – with Tokai Road separating the Dennendal area, where the highest transfer this year was R6.75m, from the area adjacent to Pollsmoor, where a R6m transfer in Forest Avenue was the highest and the lowest was a R2.35m sale in Young’s Way. 

“It’s one of the few suburbs which offers pretty much whatever a resident might need, from upmarket restaurants and shopping – especially at the Westlake Centre – to excellent schooling at nearby Reddam, as well as easy access to the Silvermine mountains and beaches of False Bay.

There’s also the upmarket business node of Westlake for those not wishing to commute for work.” “You get the Constantia facilities at a value-filled price.” 

According to Lightstone, those under 49 years accounted for 58% of buys in the past 12 months. The stats also indicate prices have generally been on a steady increase since 2009, but this year has seen a 10% slowdown compared to last year. A surprise is sectional title prices outstripping freehold homes last year but this can be attributed to the relatively small number of transactions – there are few sectional title units in Tokai proper.

“There is little capital growth forecast for the next 12 to 24 months, so property purchases for investment purposes don’t really make sense unless they have other latent values, such as sub-divisibility,” says Du Plessis. “The rental return is too low after expenses. At the moment, purchasing a normal residential house is more an emotional than pragmatic decision.” 

Michelle Richards’ favourite things to do

What is most striking about the area is a prevailing sense of common spirit. It’s a happy community with loads of children and people walking their dogs or riding bikes. Residents come together at times of need, be it about a lost pet or set of keys.- Michelle Richards, resident Picture: Supplied

1 Outdoors

The Norval Foundation, a new centre for art and cultural expression, has a sculpture garden, amphitheatre, exhibition spaces and a research library in a unique setting. It is open daily, except Tuesdays, and entrance is free on the first Thursday of the month (087 654 5900).

Tokai Forest, part of the Table Mountain National Park, has walks and places to picnic with the children. It’s an ideal spot to unwind.

2 Eat

For delicious thinbase, wood-fired pizza, the Italian Kitchen does a great job. It’s a bit rough and ready but offers good value (021 712 6631).

TaiChi offers excellent sushi as well as Chinese and Japanese dishes. There’s half-price sushi from 11am to 10pm daily (021 712 7372).

3 Drink

Bootleggers has a comprehensive menu. It’s a great spot for an early-morning coffee for mountain bikers or endof-day sundowners in the shadow of the Constantiaberg (021 712 8000).

Jakes in the Village is popular for a drink, with two-for-one burgers on Tuesdays (021 701 3272)

4 Shop

The Earth Fair Market offers fresh produce and other goods. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Just down the road, open Wednesdays and Saturdays, is the Earth Fair Market. This is a top-drawer market experience, offering pasture-reared meat and a host of other fresh produce. There’s live music on Wednesdays (4pm-9pm) and the venue becomes quite lively. Saturdays (8.30-2pm) are ideal for a breakfast in preparation for the weekend (082 738 1779).

For a more conventional outing and with 120 shops over two floors, the recently refurbished Blue Route Mall should be able to satisfy all (021 713 2360)


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