Trend: New co-living development in Cape Town

09 July 2021

What is co-living and why is it attractive to those born after the early 1980s?

Millennials in expensive cities, such as New York, London and Hong Kong, have modernised the concept of house sharing into a new trend called co-living, taking non-exiting, unfinished house sharing to upscale, fully furnished hotel-sized living spaces with shared amenities.

After seeing some co-living spaces during a visit to Amsterdam, Hein Ehlers, the CEO of Devmark Property Group, decided to launch a similar development in South Africa.

“Ehlers realised the solution not only rendered housing more affordable to buy and rent, but also addressed millennials’ sense of community, which is enjoying an even higher premium now because of the isolation experienced during the Covid-19 lockdown,” says Dejane Steyl, head of marketing at Devmark Property Group.

The name YUCO was chosen for the development, as acronym for “your urban co-living space.”

The allure

Steyl says that a few other co-living developments have been launched in SA, but nothing comparable with YUCO.

“With most of the other attempts people had their own studio apartments, with shared access to a coffee shop, gym, swimming pool or barbeque areas. We are taking this a step further by also including communal meeting, study, lounge and play areas, as well as a communal kitchen on each floor. In addition, the 380 studios on offer will be fullyfurnished and serviced weekly.”

The development forms part of the new Galleria precinct, an 11.4 ha mixed-use property, located in the northern suburbs of Cape Town.

“Galleria is set to become a vibrant new urban hub, a centralised destination in Bellville, for businesspeople, corporations, retailers, event organisers, tourists and locals. It will include a 4-star hotel, retail and commercial space, lifestyle and leisure attractions, as well as YUCO,” Steyl says.

Part of the precinct’s allure is its proximity to various higher education centres, multiple transit routes and services, and all of this against the backdrop of the Winelands. It also is at the centre of Cape Town’ second city bowl area.

“The development fits well with millennials’ desire to create memories and experiences by offering great access to hiking and mountain biking routes, as well as wine farms for fine dining and wine tasting,” Steyl says.

The offering

The studios range from 18.7 m2 to 26.1 m2 in size, with prices ranging from R659 000 to R1.05m.

Building has not yet started, but the development is destined to house its first occupants by mid-2023.

“As with all real estate, sales have been negatively affected by the Covid-19 lockdown, but it has picked up well since then and living up to our expectations,” Steyl says.

Investors who bought the property before June were able to convert 100% of their tax bill into a 12J Property investment by choosing the 12 J investment option. Steyl foresees that all the properties will be sold out before investors will have the opportunity to do so again next year.

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