Cape Town's Central Business District (CBD) from the air.

Rather than choosing to move overseas, many South Africans are opting to move to cities in their own country and the Western Cape tops the list of places to move, says Joanna Thomas of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

More specifically, Cape Town has seen a growing trend where people are choosing to semi-grate to the city.

“These semigrators, who view Cape Town as a well-run and safe city, are mainly from Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and KwaZulu-Natal,” says Thomas.

Major determining factors for these semi-graters are mostly lifestyle changes, with retirement high on the list as well as young couples whose children are approaching school-going age,” explains Thomas.

People are attracted to the lifestyle choices that Cape Town offers as well as the freedom compared to that of Johannesburg and the amount of activity and action compared to Port Elizabeth.

“We often hear comments about the amount of runners and cyclists from people who are exploring the city for the first time and we also get the anecdotal comments from some up-country buyers that ‘things work’ in Cape Town,” says Thomas.

For people wanting to start families in Cape Town the fact that there are good schools in a fairly small radius is a big deciding factor.

Many Johannesburg buyers move to Cape Town to raise their families in the safe environment, but one parent often still travels to Johannesburg for work. This creates a strong demand for 24-hour security estates and, as the demand is high, these properties tend to sell at a premium price.

Constantia is a firm favourite with buyers semigrating to Cape Town as the suburb tends to have bigger erf sizes. A buyer from PE on 5000m2 can fit happily into a home on 2000m2 in Constantia, but still maintain the rural, country living atmosphere and not feel as if they have compromised their environment too much.

“The majority of buyers seeking property in Cape Town are moving down-market in terms of the property they can afford in Cape Town compared to other areas of South Africa. Buyers should not compare the rand value of where they are coming from and what they can afford in Cape Town as there is a very big difference,” comments Thomas.

This article first appeared on iAfrica.com