Cape Town - Post Report Question and Answers

What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

I lived in a single-family house in a gated community. It had a backyard with turf instead of grass, which was a "water-wise" setup that was good for the drought. The backyard also had a swimming pool. It was four bedrooms. The location was walking distance to my workplace. I sometimes rode a bicycle or drove. Typical commutes for expats are generally within 45 minutes. - Aug 2021

Housing is similar to Europe. Small kitchens and appliances. Just enough bedrooms to fit your needs. The housing pool is small so you might not get your top choice. All that said, the housing is safe and secure. The estates have room for kids to bike and walk safely alone to friends. - Apr 2021

There are distinct areas of the city where expats tend to live - Southern Suburbs, City Bowl, Atlantic Coast, Northern Suburbs, etc. We have always lived in moderately sized stand-alone homes in the Southern Suburbs with small gardens. A commute to downtown from either north or south could be 45-60 minutes one way. American diplomats, who seem to enjoy this site, live in modern, spacious homes in a gated community right next to the US consulate. - Feb 2018

Most U.S. diplomatic housing is in a couple of gated communities near the consulate, which is is located in the southern suburbs. A few singles or couples without kids live in apartments near the Cape Town waterfront. - Oct 2017

Almost all the houses for the Consulate are freestanding and way out in the suburbs near the Consulate. Don't come here with the illusion that you'll be living downtown and soaking up the nightlife unless you plan to spend big money on taxis. The suburbs are beautiful and the housing is nice but it is very suburban. - May 2014

Housing for the Consulate is great. Most houses are modern and spacious, some have bigger yards and some smaller, very few have pools. The vast majority is in housing "estates" (secure, gated communities) 5-10 minutes drive from work. Where I live backs up to the Consulate area and I can drop my kids off at the bus stop and walk to work. The security is great and the kids ride bikes, roller skate and play soccer in the streets--picture a 1950's U.S. neighborhood. There are also 2 small parks in our housing estate and kids gather there to play on the jungle gym. - Aug 2013

Wide range of affordable housing from small flats to giant mansions. I own a small house in Cape Town - 3 bed/2 bath - and paid approximately US$135,000. Rent on a house this size would range from R4000-R7000 depending on location and suburb. - Oct 2007

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