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Being one of the biggest and most densely populated South African cities, Cape Town is full of opportunities. Cape Town – also known as the 'Mother City' – attracts foreign nationals not only for its prosperous economy but also for its diverse and multicultural environment along with various leisure activities. As a supply to the demand, Cape Town also provides a range of accommodation to expatriates looking forward to settle there.

The landscape plays an important part in the ambience, prices and kind of neighbour you can expect in different areas.start by inquiring on the different neighborhoods to determine which one will best suit your needs and budget.

Cape Town's neighborhoods

Cape Town is first divided into several zones, which include many neighborhoods. Table Mountain forms a natural bowl – the City Bowl, which is known to be the historical centre, is comprised of the central business district, downton, the parliament area and residential areas. Rent prices are higher in this zone. Downtown has seen much improvement to its accommodation recently, with loft apartments and trendy living spaces in former industrial buildings being ideal for those who want to be at the heart of the night life and general downtown buzz.

The northern outskirts are traditionally newer, quieter and more family-orientated. On the whole, the northern suburbs are slightly cheaper than those in the south. There’s an old misconception that the north is more conservative, but once you’ve met a variety of Capetonians, you’ll learn to judge for yourself. In the southern outskirts, you will find as many and varied residential areas with affordable rent and those that are expensive and opulent. Even though every area has very good schools, the southern suburbs boast the older, traditional and prestigious schools of the city.

On the Atlantic seaboard of Cape Town, you will find one residential area after the other, situated on the mountain slopes with breathtaking views of the Atlantic. These areas are close to the most beautiful beaches and not far from the city centre and business district. Popular names along this side include: Camps Bay, Clifton, Greenpoint, Seapoint, Mouillie Point and the Waterfront, especially for accessibility to amenities and public transport, among others.

The Southern peninsula, for its part, offers a few small villages within the city. However, it has been developing rapidly over the past few years, with the construction of beach resorts and fishing ports. Rent prices are quite affordable in this area.

Located in the southwest, on the far outskirts of the central business area, the Cape Flats are deemed to be the poorest part of the city.

Rent prices

Although South Africa is often praised for its low cost of living, rent prices have significantly increased over the past few years. In 2017, examples of monthly rent in Cape Town were as follows: in the city centre, a 1-bedroom apartment goes for R13 500 a month, while a 5-bedroom villa can cost R70 000 per month.

The sought-after Atlantic seaboard is quite expensive at R13 000 per month for a studio in Mouille Point or R48 000 for a 3-bedroom house in Camps Bay. These prices usually means you are walking distance from the seafront. The leafy Southern Suburbs fetch high rentals at R 10 500 for a 1 bedroom apartment in Rondebosch that is near the university campus, and R35 000 a month for a large 5-bedroom house in Bishopscourt, which is near all the best schools.

Slightly more affordable accommodation can be found in Observatory, half-way between the city centre and the university at R 9 500 for a 2-bedroom apartment, or a 3-bedroom house in Claremont, for R25,000 a month.

Find accommodation

Flat sharing is quite common in Cape Town due to the presence of large numbers of students and young working adults. It is also quite easy to find home stay and student room share or flat share offers online.

If you are looking for a bigger apartment or furnished house, it is best to register with a real estate agency. Indeed, a real estate agent can help you find the ideal accommodation as per your criteria more rapidly. Find more information on lease in the article Accommodation in South Africa.

Expats often opt for an apartment rather than an individual house which have is more exposed to break-ins. In some areas, you can even find gated villages that provide higher security to residents.

 Useful links:

Rent a Room
Yellow Pages
The Room Link

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.