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Claremont Village: Little village living

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People are drawn to a location that is more affordable, yet has the same perks as nearby expensive areas. Claremont Village is close to trendy hangouts and has excellent services and facilities.

Claremont, Kenilworth and Harfield Village offer a gentle, suburban lifestyle, but property in these areas can be beyond the reach and budget of younger, first-time buyers. 
Rising prices are directing such hopefuls to a small region with all
the benefits of the top locations, but which is much more affordable: Claremont Village – between Chichester Rd), Rosmead Ave and Doncaster Rd. 
More than a third of buyers here are under-35 – the so-called millennials age group; – a further 40%-
plus are under-50. Buyers range from students to professionals and young families, but older people live here too. With a good mix of properties, split between full title homes – including Victorian-style houses and cottages – and sectional title (slightly more of the former than the latter), Claremont Village prices are lower while growth here in the past three years has been between 41% and 57%. 
“Claremont Village offers a mix of quaint cottages, free-standing and semi-detached homes, as well as apartments and duplex townhouses,” says Sandra Barrett, Pam Golding Properties agent for the
southern suburbs. 
“Homes are affordable when prices are compared to those in nearby Harfield Village, with houses and semi-detached cottages selling for an average of R2.1 million in the past six months; the highest sale was R2.5m. Sectional title properties sell for an average of R1.2m.” 
Seeff agents Deidre Tracey and Teodora Aleksieva say they have observed a steady flow of people
heading here, driven largely by the price bracket. The good performance of the area is attributable to the rise in demand for the concept of “village” living, says Aleksieva. 
“The opportunity to live in a small community and close to trendy eateries and hot hangouts, with excellent services and facilities on offer nearby, all add to the attraction; walkability in the area is another big drawcard.” 
The village lifestyle is created by the lovely older houses and cottages, as well as having everything you need on the doorstep on a relatively small scale; big retailers and commercial hubs are close enough to be convenient, but not intrusive. 
“The M5 and M3 freeways will take you anywhere you want to go, whether it’s to the Constantia
Wine Valley, or mega malls such as Cavendish Square. Claremont Village residents easily access public transport and for UCT student, it is on the Jammie Shuttle route. Humans and pets have their medical needs catered for in the form of Medicross Kenilworth on Rosmead Avenue, and the Cape Animal Medical Hospital and the Kenilworth Veterinary Hospital.” Although Kenilworth Centre and Access Park are close by for shopping
and fast-food, neighbouring Harfield Village has many restaurants, especially in Second Avenue. Kenilworth Main Road is also nearby with its many shops.

 Picnic at Arderne Gardens, the popular venue for wedding photography, with its rich history Picture: Jason Boud/ANA Pictures
Claremont: Brief history
from the 1800s to today 
Claremont is the heart of the Southern Suburbs. It
was originally farmland developed in the 1840s and
1850s as a village around the intersection of Main
and Lansdowne roads which served Philippi, the community
of German market gardeners in 1883. 
The railway line from Cape Town reached the area
in 1864, dividing it into upper and lower Claremont.
They formed their own municipality in 1890, which
was incorporated into the city of Cape Town in 1913.
Considerable residential growth took place on
both sides of the railway line in the 1920s and
1930s, when estates such as Palmyra, Keurboom,
Ravensworth, Sanatorium, The Vineyard, Wyndover
and Edinburgh were subdivided and developed. 
Prior to the Group Areas Act removals, Claremont
Village, below the railway line, was a multi-racial and
religiously diverse community with many shops and
small businesses. The area, of which the suburb of
Harfield was the largest part, was popular because of
its proximity to buses and trains. 
Kenilworth Station is on your doorstep if you use public transport. Picture: Jason Boud/ANA Pictures
Second Avenue, which runs the length of Harfield
(now known as Harfield Village) served as a central
hub of economic and social activity in Harfield or Lower Claremont, and was populated with small,
independent stores such as general dealers, butchers,
tailors and dairies. 
Some of these had existed for
over 60 years and were lucrative family businesses.
The community had more than 10 schools including
Livingstone High School in Lansdowne Road.
In November 1969, Lower Claremont was declared
a white area. A large number of residents, owners
and tenants, was affected.
Buyers renovated the properties and sold them at
a profit. 
Despite this, rents were extremely high, and
the City Council sold to property developers.
As a result, many houses were destroyed and
replaced with blocks of flats.
Upper Claremont remained predominantly residential
until the early 1970s, when commercial development
began, notably with Cavendish Square, which
opened in 1973. Today, the area above Main Road
is among the most sought-after in the city, partly
because of the many good schools nearby. 
● Much of this information is from SA History


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