Johannesburg. – Cape Town and its environs have blossomed into a playground for the world's rich and famous, where they can relax far from the eyes of the paparazzi.
These glitterati generally stay in some of the mother city's super-luxurious villas, for which they don't balk at paying R200 000 to R250 000 a week. These are the highest short-term rentals being paid in the country.
Famous people to have already visited Cape Town include David and Victoria Beckham, Elton John, Michael Schumacher, Prince Harry, Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of Pam Golding Properties (PGP), says there is an endless list of trifles and services required by short-term tenants – including butlers, chefs and chauffeurs.
Golding believes that now that Table Mountain has been designated one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the city could feature on the to-do lists of more and more famous people.
Such guests usually stay an average of 10 days and the most popular time for those with children is between Christmas and New Year. January to March suits older visitors or retirees, he said.
Seeff’s rental division agent Tanya Joubert said the most popular properties are along the Atlantic coast, which have luxurious finishing, jacuzzis, swimming pools and views of the ocean.
“Holiday rentals make the biggest contribution to the city's short-term rental market and represent between 60% and 70% of annual earnings.”
She said the highest daily rental rate achieved this year was R47 000/day for a super-luxurious Bantry Bay dwelling. It had been leased for three weeks by a high-profile client with interests in online casinos.
Her top choice is an ultra-luxurious house called Clifton Bliss, consisting of four dwelling units with a housekeeper, chef and concierge service. It can accommodate up to 200 guests for dinner and it costs a whopping R80 000/day to lease the entire villa.
The individual units go for R17 000/day for a two-bedroom suite and R50 000/day for a four-bedroom suite. She said despite the sizeable daily rate, luxury villas remain an attractive option for those able to afford them. Her clients include Jennifer Connelly, Joseph Fiennes and Caprice, who bought a house from her.
She said what distinguishes Cape Town from other coastal destinations is that it is cosmopolitan, offers the perfect beach holiday, with the Winelands just around the corner and a smorgasbord of social hangouts.
Golding said Plettenberg Bay and Hermanus are also popular destinations and in Hermanus PGE recently let a house for R18 000/day.
“In Plett rentals for a super-luxurious holiday home will go for R100 000 to R130 000 a week.”
As for the ordinary rental market, it was doing well. He said it was supported by a strong demand from those reluctant to commit to a house over the long term, or who lacked finance or the cash requirements.
Houses recently led by PGE include a Constantia dwelling at R35 000/month and one in Bishops Court at R60 000/month.