The property market in Cape Town has evolved with the current water crisis, instead of green lawns and sprawling gardens, potential buyers are looking for homes with rainwater storage tanks and grey-water systems.
Energy and water self-sufficiency are increasingly important factors in home buyers’ choice of property – especially in Cape Town where the extreme drought of the past few years has made municipal supply costly as well as uncertain, says property company Chas Everitt.
“This preference is particularly pronounced at the upper-end of the market, where we find buyers are now specifically looking for homes that have rainwater storage tanks, grey-water systems and water-saving devices installed as well as equipment like solar geysers and heat pumps,” says Devin de Moyland, Camps Bay area specialist for Chas Everitt International.
Cape Town is in the grip of the worst drought in 100 years. Level 6B water restrictions have been implemented across the City, meaning residents are only allowed to use 50 litres of water per person, per day. This has dramatically changed the needs of property owners in the Mother City.
“Such buyers are also not too keen to make use of the ‘bulk water suppliers’ who have been trucking water in to Cape Town residents determined to fill their pools or water their gardens despite the city’s strict water restrictions. They are consequently also seeking out upmarket homes where the owners have already exchanged lawns and flowerbeds for low-maintenance and water-friendly gravel beds, succulents and indigenous trees,” said De Moyland.
Chas Everitt International currently has several listings that meet these new water-conscious criteria, he says, including properties in Camp’s Bay which is very low-maintenance with tiled and paved outdoor entertainment areas, a small pool and a new 5000lt rainwater storage tank discreetly fitted at the back of the house.
Another property located in Woodhead Close, he notes, is equipped with two water storage tanks of 10 000 litres each which were installed in a service basement during construction so as not to be unsightly. It also has solar power.
It is evident that locals are kitting their homes out in the best water-saving devices and mechanisms and buyers are looking for exactly that. Property agents also advise sellers to make their homes water-efficient to attract buyers.
Chas Everitt International group CEO Berry Everitt said it’s fortunate that the options for achieving more self-sufficiency in water supply are readily available and practical.
“Water storage tanks and water-saving devices such as low-flow taps and showers, for example, are also relatively inexpensive and we recommend that home owners install them without delay. The tanks will hopefully fill with rainwater during the coming winter season and their presence could make all the difference to a prospective buyer.”