Living independently – Stellenbosch students choose secure living near campus
Stellenbosch University students adding to the ‘varsity town’s hustle and bustle with their lively conversations and teasing laughter are happy to be back on campus. Particularly those, it seems, who have grasped the opportunity to test their independence in an environment geared to support them as they learn, grow and thrive.
That’s the finding of a ‘spot survey’ by Pam Golding Properties’ Stellenbosch office of several of the first young adults on campus to settle down in hostels, apartments, or ‘digs’ ahead of 2022 classes resuming.
Feedback from students included the following comments:
“The opportunity to make your own choices and test your boundaries is the greatest appeal of living on campus,” says one.
Another says that many young adults can’t wait to get into their own space and experience independence for the first time after their school careers end. Living away from home while studying at university is one of the ways to gain this freedom.
“Taking full responsibility and making our own decisions – rather than relying on mom or dad – for our own timetables, grocery shopping and meals, accommodation and its cleanliness, and laundry among other things, is how we can take responsibility and find out what skills we have and what we are really good at,” adds another.
Another attraction highlighted was the benefits of being within walking or cycling distance of the university’s facilities, as well as the face-to-face academic support.
“It is cheaper to live on or close to campus, especially when it comes to travelling. Social interaction and academic networking are also key factors because you meet so many new people. These are not critical for attaining a university qualification but they are part of the ‘varsity experience,” she says.
As a result of this desire to live on or close to campus, there has been no let-up in the demand for student accommodation in Stellenbosch, despite Covid-19.
According to Pam Golding Properties Somerset West and Stellenbosch area manager, Louise Varga, the need for easy access to classes, an opportunity to participate in student life, and the desire to live independently has by no means declined over the past 24 months.
Says Varga: “Regardless of the adjustments we have all made to our lives as a result of actions taken to limit the impact of Covid-19, students still want to experience the independence living on campus affords them, while their parents still realise that doing so is beneficial for their personal growth.
“Fortunately, there are a number of developments catering for students currently on show. Investing in one of these developments close to campus is a great way to ensure your child takes those first steps to independence and growth in a secure environment,” she says.
“It’s also a global phenomenon that residential properties in student towns achieve higher capital growth compared to the national average. There is always a strong demand for accommodation in this historic town.
“In fact, our office processed 140 new leases in one day, ahead of the 2022 study year. This confirms that an investment in an apartment in one of the developments in our portfolio will deliver considerable returns over the years.
“Another benefit of purchasing a unit is that it enables parents to secure accommodation for as long as their child needs it. We’ve seen an upturn in students wanting to lease the same unit for the duration of their course. However, renting does not guarantee year-on-year accommodation as, if the unit is sold for example, their rental contract may not be renewed,” Varga says.
Da Vinci, Deo Gloria, 17 on Cluver and Archimedes are student-only developments taking every aspect of a student’s lifestyle into account and because they are semi-furnished, they ensure hassle-free accommodation from the outset.
These four developments offer features such as internet connectivity, laundry room or bi-monthly laundry service, weekly cleaning service, 24-hour manned security, remote control access gates and alarms in each unit.
Da Vinci is a contemporary three-storey, 41-unit development with home-from-home accommodation and extra communal areas creating the perfect environment for both study and leisure activities. Its hallmark feature is a roof-top communal braai area claimed to have ‘the best view in Stellenbosch’. Prices range from R1.825 million to R3.995 million.
Deo Gloria comprises studios, lofts and two or three-bedroom apartments, priced between R1.55 million and R3.65 million, and centrally situated on the Green Route on Cluver and Merriman Roads, within walking distance to campus and patrolled by security guards on foot and bicycles. With its beautiful gardens and prime location opposite the tranquil Jan Marais Park, a pristine nature reserve, it offers the perfect environment for both study and leisure times.
Another development, 17 on Cluver also enjoys beautiful Stellenbosch views and a natural ambiance from its sought-after position on the Green Route. Each of its semi-furnished units – priced from R1.58 million – has been designed to maximise the space to ensure that students’ accommodation needs are met. Outdoors, the garden has a swimming pool and three braai areas, perfect for a relaxed but secure time-out from studying.
Archimedes is situated opposite the university’s world-renowned Engineering Faculty and comprises studio and two-bedroom formats priced from R1.85 million to R3.5 million. With comprehensive security systems and green structures in place, it offers a secure, eco-friendly lifestyle.
Other developments marketed by Pam Golding Properties include Bosmans Club and The Niche, which are not student-only buildings but include apartments with more than two bedrooms, making them ideal for students’ parents to use when visiting, as well as broadening the rental appeal when the student graduates and moves away.
Adds Varga: “As some downscale their accommodation for life choices, rather than financial reasons, mixed-use residential developments that offer desirable amenities, like Bosmans Club where prices range between R2.215 million and R3.4 million, are becoming increasingly sought after. Its contemporary apartments are also ideal for first-time buyers, young professionals, or post-graduate students looking to live in a trendy, vibrant area.”
The Niche is a new 51-unit development comprising bachelor, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments priced from R1.55 million to R3.055 million. Purposefully designed in a modern style, it is set within an established area of Stellenbosch and within walking distance of the university campus.