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Cash flocks to Woodstock

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Developer and investor appetite is strong, despite city's water woes and country's financial troubles

Ongoing development in central Cape Town has precipitated a spike in demand for residential property in the area, and this has fuelled the regeneration of previously overlooked suburbs like Woodstock, transforming them into vibrant mixed-use nodes. 

The impact of the floundering economy, political uncertainty and the deepening water crisis has been felt, but developer and investor appetite in the area remains strong, says Chad Shapiro, senior commercial broker for Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the CBD, City Bowl and on the Atlantic Seaboard.

“We are currently working with local and international retailers and commercial companies looking to strategically place themselves in the Woodstock/Salt River/Observatory precinct to take advantage of the area’s distinct benefits, all of which are sure to pique consumer interest.”

Woodstock’s strategic future growth potential is not only due to its convenient proximity to the CBD, but also other critical drawcards, says Lew Geffen, chairman Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

“The main transport routes leading the city’s other key nodes are easily accessible. This is beneficial to the businesses in the area and to employees who face a congested daily commute.”

Geffen says another factor contributing to the precinct’s continued growth is the successful fusion of residential, light industrial, creative and social components, attracting a broader range of investors, tenants and clientele.

Shapiro believes Woodstock’s ambience and unique property landscape has also helped the area’s success.

“The suburb boasts an abundance of historical buildings, many of which have already been upgraded to incorporate contemporary elements without forfeiting their original character.

“Among Woodstock’s multiple success stories are the Old Biscuit Mill and The Woodstock Exchange. Besides the suburb’s growing status as a creative business hub and trendy residential area, it has also seen the development of of P-grade buildings which have attracted key international and national tenants.”

The growing international trend of “micro-living” will make its local debut in Woodstock with the development of 1 on Albert, comprising ergonomically designed apartments.

Shapiro says an important factor in ongoing interest for property investment in the area is that Woodstock benefits from being an Urban Development Zone (UDZ), which offers a tax break.

“The UDZ status is offered by the municipality to assist developers and smaller land purchasers in upgrading the area, with special focus on lower LSM brackets, by offering a rebate of up to 25% on purchase price and redevelopment costs as an incentive to invest in the area.”

Although the backlash of the prevailing economic climate has trickled through to Woodstock, curbing the upward trajectory of growth seen in recent years, Shapiro says the market remains robust.

“Sales volumes may have dipped marginally, but Woodstock’s unique attributes and convenient positioning continue to attract investors while also buffering the area from the brunt of the economic downturn.”

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