Harfield Village has risen above its turbulent history during the apartheid era to become a vibrant and desirable place to live, with good access and properties fetching record prices.
The borders of Harfield Village run from Imam Haron Road in the north to Kenilworth Road in the south, between the railway line and Rosmead Avenue.
Today it is a trendy and desirable place to buy or rent, following a turbulent yet fascinating history. Its name comes from its proximity to “Harfield Cottage” which was built by Thomas Mathew, a cooper and wine merchant who was one of the early residents of Claremont.
In 1953, the area drew the attention of the apartheid authorities and planners, who identified it as a “black spot” and expressed concerns about the presence of coloured and African families who were apparently “squatting” in Cape Town’s suburbs.
Claremont was considered to be valuable real estate and a need to clear up what were deemed “slum areas” was used to justify the removal of residents of colour living here.
It was declared “white” in 1969 and over the next two decades coloured residents were systematically forced to move to new homes on the Cape Flats.
While historically preserved, there have been a number of new developments in the area which are attracting younger residents to the community, says Greeff property consultant Michael Greenwood.
“Demand for these properties stems from the rapid growth in property prices with a staggering growth of 12% on average, year on year, for the past three years. This is accompanied by major routes and amenities near Harfield Village, as well as local businesses, entertainment, restaurants and fitness centres.”
Harfield is known for its narrow tree-lined streets, parks with views of the mountain, and semi-detached homes with high ceilings, wooden floors and tin roofs. While plots and houses are smaller than those in neighbouring Claremont and Kenilworth, the close-knit community is a big part of the charm and appeal of living here. The Harfield Village Association was established in 1996 to safeguard the village’s character, to strive to keep the area safe and to represent the community in its relationship with local authorities. An annual carnival in 2nd Avenue adds to the community feel.
On average, the price of a two-bedroom home in Harfield Village is between R2 million and R3m with three-bedroom homes fetching between R2.75m and R4m. This is a perfect environment for first-time homeowners who are upsizing from apartments, says Greenwood. In the past year, 46% of buyers in the area were aged between 18 and 35, and 40% of sellers were between 36 and 49.
“Our Greeff team focuses on sectional title properties, such as apartments, townhouses and penthouses, and continues to achieve record price sales. As rental yields grow year on year, owners are reluctant to sell, so the industry is experiencing a constant shortage of stock.
“With an attractive buying environment, Harfield Village offers a fair amount of bang for its buck. A lively, vibrant area, Harfield Village is conveniently accessible to many amenities in the greater Claremont area, including top restaurants and coffee spots. Parents are spoilt for choice with reputable schools nearby such as Livingstone High, Abbotts College and many more.”