From city to sub­urbs: the big mind­shift

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY - NIKKI BARNARD

WE ALL know en­thu­si­as­tic young­sters are flock­ing to Cape Town’s CBD, but who is leav­ing the city and why?

There is some­thing mag­netic about Cape Town’s trendy CBD, and young­sters from all over the coun­try are try­ing to get their piece of the cos­mopoli­tan city, to rent or to buy.

But what hap­pens when the love of city life clashes with the need for more space, less traf­fic and prox­im­ity to good schools?

Ev­ery­one has rea­sons for mov­ing, but es­tate agents say chil­dren and pets are the com­mon thread that ig­nites the move to sub­ur­bia.

How­ever, it is not an easy move as leav­ing the city can bring with it psychological and emo­tional chal­lenges.

While peo­ple now wait longer be­fore mar­ry­ing and hav­ing chil­dren, city liv­ing is ex­tended, mak­ing the move to the sub­urbs more than just about pack­ing a few boxes.

Taryn Lewis, Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties agent for the City Bowl, says: “The ma­jor­ity of peo­ple mov­ing out of the city to the sub­urbs are young cou­ples in their early thir­ties and for­ties, look­ing to move to larger prop­er­ties as their fam­ily grows and their needs change.”

Chil­dren are the lead­ing cause for peo­ple mov­ing out of the city and dis­pers­ing to the sub­urbs as many pop­u­lar schools are lo­cated out­side the CBD. Un­less you are able to

Of­ten cou­ples

says Lewis. “They may need a gar­den and ex­tra room, and this sees peo­ple mov­ing from the City Bowl to the ar­eas where these needs can be ac­com­mo­dated.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ri­aan Ack­er­mann, Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties agent for the City Bowl, home­own­ers are sell­ing their smaller prop­er­ties in the city to buy larger homes in the sub­urbs for the same prices.

Most peo­ple rent­ing seem to remain in the City Bowl.

As peo­ple tend to set­tle down to fam­ily life later than past gen­er­a­tions did, young­sters are find­ing them­selves liv­ing in the city for longer.

There are emo­tional and psychological chal­lenges associated with sub­ur­ban­i­sa­tion as a move of this na­ture brings with it many changes and life­style ad­just­ments.

Peo­ple of­ten at­tach their self- worth and iden­tity to where they live, and shift­ing from city life to sub­ur­bia is quite a trans­for­ma­tion.

“To make such a move a suc­cess, the de­ci­sion must be unan­i­mous,” says Adrian Goslett, re­gional di­rec­tor and CEO of Re/Max of South­ern Africa. “There needs to be def­i­nite mo­ti­va­tion for the move and it is vi­tal both par­ties are on the same page.”

He says of­ten all that is re­quired is a shift in mind­set ac­com­pa­nied by a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude about the fu­ture, fo­cus­ing on the pri­mary rea­sons for the move, such as more space, a safer en­vi­ron­ment for the chil­dren, prox­im­ity to good schools and other pos­i­tive as­pects.

For those ven­tur­ing out of the city for the first time, trends show they don’t go too far. Mow­bray, Ron­de­bosch and Clare­mont are pop­u­lar, says Lewis. Other sub­urbs in­clude New­lands and parts of the north­ern sub­urbs.

“There are ar­eas in the north­ern and south­ern sub­urbs that meet these (de­sired) re­quire­ments and of­fer value for money,” says Lewis.

Staying out of the city in ar­eas such as these may be a good com­pro­mise for those con­sid­er­ing the move. They are not far from the City Bowl and fre­quent­ing the CBD is easy, the chil­dren are in good schools and the fam­ily en­joys more liv­ing space and peace­ful sur­round­ings.

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