Aengus Property Holdings (APH) is a brand synonymous with inner-city regeneration, urban renewal, a new wave of fashionable inner-city living. APH has come a long way in a short time, thanks to its unique approach to providing affordable yet upmarket accommodation within the Joburg CBD.
As one of Johannesburg’s foremost urban renewal specialists, APH has brought stylish yet affordable inner-city living to thousands of people, setting the benchmark for affordable housing in areas previously characterised by limited supply and quality of accommodation.
Their premise was an innovative one: convert mothballed commercial office blocks into stylish, upmarket loft apartments, perfectly suited to South Africa’s massive emerging middle class.
With an estimated one million people commuting to work in the Joburg CBD each day, this represents not just a gap in the property market, but rather a yawning chasm, which APH is rapidly filling.
The holding company APH, created Aengus Investment Properties (AIP) and Aengus Property Management (APM).
The Aengus total lifestyle package
Using a now-proven recipe of in-house construction and property management, APH has created stylish accommodation for over 3 000 tenants across many renovated buildings nationally.
Its conventional tenancy is typically the young professional earning between R10 000 and R15 000 a month, and employed by one of the large, established organisations in and around the city.
APH also targets the student community in Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth, having strong relationships with many tertiary education institutions that call the CBD their home assisting in meeting the rapidly increasing demand for upmarket quality student accommodation.
The apartments in converted APH buildings are bachelor pads or single-bedroom units, making them affordable to this low to mid-income market.
While easy on the pocket, APH units do not however, compromise on style. All units come standard with the ultra-modern fittings and finishes associated with luxury living: fridge/freezers, built-in stoves, strip wooden floors, ceramic tiled bathrooms, fitted cupboards, window blinds, and even 12-channel satellite TV.
All buildings have access control and 24-hour security, as well as secure parking, making them attractive to female tenants, who make up approximately 70% of the tenant base.
Tenants are also offered numerous value-adds, such as on-site laundries, the Aengus Lifestyle Card which gives them discounts at 500 retail and service businesses, and even free daily transport for students to universities and colleges further than 1,5km away.
Investing in the dream
Many of APH’s desirable rental units were offered for sale to the investor market through sectional title sale in 2007, delivering outstanding yields with medium- to long-term capital appreciation. APH buildings generate returns of over 10% per year, with rental escalations maintained at 8%, sometimes as often as twice a year.
Investors’ interests are further looked after by APH’s management company, Aengus Property Management, which ensures that investors enjoy as close to 100% occupancy and 100% rental collection as possible, while taking care of all maintenance and building issues on the investor’s behalf.
AENGUS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (APM)
With a vested interest in the ongoing success of its converted buildings, Aengus Property Holdings was reluctant to leave the management of its properties to an outside concern.
It therefore set up Aengus Property Management (APM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of APH that manages the entire rental portfolio, as well as sectional title buildings on behalf of the group.
APM performs a facilities management role within APH. On top of managing all repairs and maintenance, its 200-strong team also manages all security aspects, including access control, guarding and monitoring.
An in-house professional letting team coordinates vacancies, ensuring that vacated apartments are seamlessly filled with new, vetted tenants from APM’s waiting lists.
Strict screening processes for prospective tenants and year-round demand for APH apartments (with some buildings being as much as 10 times over-subscribed), have seen APM boasting an enviable seemless occupancy for the 3 000 units across the various buildings that it manages. It also has a track record of 100% rental collection and zero arrears.
APM furthermore manages the financial processes of all buildings, in bodies corporate, collecting levies and rentals and paying profits to investors.
This dedicated management of tenants, buildings and facilities has contributed to the way-above-average rental returns for investors within the Aengus building portfolios. It also adds to the long-term appeal and capital appreciation which these units are delivering.
AENGUS INVESTMENT PROPERTIES (AIP)
Aengus Investment Properties (Pty) Limited (AIP) is the investment vehicle within the Aengus Group of Companies. It holds and/or leases properties nationally specifically catering for the student market within each region.
The portfolio comprises of 13 buildings offering affordable, upmarket student accommodation in the urban renewal zones of Johannesburg’s CBD, Port Elizabeth’s Central area and the similarly rejuvenated Greyville area in Durban.
AIP continues to utilise the services of Aengus Property Management, the group’s management arm, to ensure all buildings are well maintained and properly run.