Do you live in a Burglary Hot Spot or a Suburb Safe Zone?

neighbourhood“If property owners do not take collective action as a neighbourhood community, the affect on everyone’s property values in that neighbourhood could be very negative”, says Cape Town real estate broker, Andre de Villiers from Cape Town.

De Villiers was previously a Neighbourhood Watch Chairperson for a popular Cape Town coastal suburb. “My experience is that there are far too few residents prepared to get involved in neighbourhood security unless there is a dramatic spike in crime or a violent attack. The majority of residents it seems are only too happy to leave the collective security concerns to someone else”.

“As the owner of four real estate offices in Cape Town, I can confirm that buyers are increasingly asking agents for more details about security issues in the neighbourhood of the house they are interested in. The focus on the individual house’s security is correctly seen as something that can be resolved by the buyer, but the area’s reputation and crime statistics are a greater concern, as a buyer knows this will probably be an issue that falls outside their immediate control.”

There is certainly a demand for reliable data but this is not as easy to obtain as some may think. Many smaller incidents are not reported to the police and many private security services treat their information as confidential and many neighbourhood watch groups are understandably concerned that their neighbourhood could suffer if their efficiency in keeping records resulted in a negative message!

“I think any professional estate agent should have some reasonable methodology to answer security questions from buyers objectively about the neighbourhood. We can’t put our head in the sand over this issue and a lack of access to reliable data is certainly a challenge,” said de Villiers.

The message to property owners is to ‘buy in’ to the responsibility of keeping their neighbourhood safe and crime free through collective action, and thereby collecting a ‘collective security dividend’. “Imagine if you will, a pocket of houses that is able to claim and where the seller or agent can statistically show, that the subject area is the safest area in this suburb! If that’s not a great selling feature then, as a real estate professional with over thirty years experience, I am not sure what is!” said de Villiers.

One thought on “Do you live in a Burglary Hot Spot or a Suburb Safe Zone?

  1. Susan Carden Grave says:

    I wish to contact the Noordhoek community watch/area. This morning my husband, very stupidly, joined what he thought was a nice walk around the outer perimeter of Lake Michelle where we live. Think there was some political motivation about this because I observed the group right near us on other side of the fence and there were lots of little black children who were led by a black lady who is some kind of MP. She then went into a rather racially motivated talk about how the people of Masi should be allowed to build near us. I bet you that she hasn’t lived with them and probably lives in some supreme home. In meanwhile people were taking photographs of the homes in Lake Michelle .. a case of look how the other half live whilst you, who overpopulate, live in a place like Masi. The group was led by a couple named Ston (Dutch) and his wife Lila. They spend half the year in Belgium. Is there any way for you to find out how these people were allowed into the area?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *