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Why Cape Town luxury rentals give super-rich bang for their buck

Jan 26 2017 09:20
Carin Smith and Zukile Daniel

Cape Town - Cape Town as a city and the Western Cape as a province are probably the most diverse markets regarding tourism accommodation, according to Keegan Lewis, CEO of LVCT Group, a luxury property marketing and management company which specialises in luxury villa rentals.

"Realistically speaking, in Cape Town the offering is from R1 500 to R150 000 per night. Our company specialises in the upper end of the market, although we also have other divisions," Lewis told Fin24.

He explained that Cape Town's Atlantic Seaboard - from De Waterkant to Hout Bay - lends itself to ideal luxury vacation rentals.

"The four areas of Clifton, Bantry Bay, Camps Bay and Llandudno have the most prestigious and pristine real estate in SA. Even compared to most parts of the world Camps Bay and Clifton are often likened to world renowned holiday destinations like Ibiza and St Tropez, for instance," said Lewis.

READ: R100 000 a night to stay in Cape Town

These four areas are diverse and can offer luxury holiday makers from a quiet villa high up in Bantry Bay to the option of being right on the beach. While the rand exchange rate offers good value to international tourists, Lewis says Cape Town also provides a fairly high standard so that they really get "more bang for their buck".

"Nine out of ten guests know Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. They can come and stay here at a third of the rate in St Tropez and Ibiza - which many of our guests say are overrated any way," said Lewis.

"Most of the people who send us enquiries already have a specific idea of what they are looking for. It could be, for instance, modern architecture, good views and good in-house services. Some homes have a gym and even a spa facility. We can even provide them with masseurs, a butler, an in-house chef and a bar tender."

These luxury holiday makers often bring along their own staff members and would require suitable additional accommodation as part of the holiday villa they book. They sometimes also require garage space for at least three vehicles.

"We source what matches their needs. Of course everybody enjoys a good deal, but we must marry the requirements of the guest with that of the home owners. It must be a market related rate for the property and a fair rate for the property owner," said Lewis.

Some owners actually move out of their homes during the high season.

WATCH: A peek inside the R150 000/day Cape Town home

Owning a luxury holiday rental

The Atlantic Seaboard has enjoyed huge demand for luxury holiday accommodation purchases, according to Lewis.

"Those able to afford and purchase a luxury property on the Atlantic Seaboard do not always stay in Cape Town permanently. They, therefore, need someone to look after their home and prevent damage when it is rented out," he said.

In his experience, one of the merits for an owner to opt for holiday rental rather than long-term rental is that the owner can then enjoy the property too when it is not rented out.

When one moves into the upper end of the holiday rental market - from R10 000, R30 000 and R40 000 a day - proximity to the beach, overall location and service become very important for guests. Whether a home has been upgraded recently can also be a deciding point for potential guests.

"Holiday rental is certainly not an industry where one can just buy a house and put it on the market to be rented out. Service is paramount at the luxury upper end of the scale. You build up a personal relationship with owners when you rent out their luxury homes," said Lewis.

Those opting for ultra-luxury holiday rentals on the Atlantic Seaboard include captains of industry from Johannesburg and international celebrities who want to have privacy. Sometimes they also request discreet close protection like a bodyguard - something Lewis can provide as well.

Those who purchase these ultra-luxury holiday homes include companies and consortiums. They gain value on the demand-based real estate market.

The majority are from the UK, US and Germany, said Lewis. There are also a fair number from Johannesburg, Nigeria, Botswana and even from Asia. There are also local Capetonians with second homes in the city, for instance in the Waterfront and Constantia.

WATCH: An overview of the Cape Town luxury property rental market:

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cape town  |  tourism  |  wealth  |  property
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