The variety of housing available is Cape Town is similar to that in any modern city, while the differentiation between neighborhoods, with the massive divide between Cape Town’s rich and poor, is perhaps more extreme than most. Nonetheless, the questions you’ll have to ask yourself when considering where to live are the same.
If your main concern is personal security, you’ll want to live either in a secured complex or in one of the districts with good crime prevention. Areas you should look at include most of the Atlantic Seaboard areas (though Green Point and Sea Point score relatively low in that department) and the Waterfront. Hout Bay, with its well-secured private estates, is another option.
If you’re interested in being near the best schools, then you’ll want to live either in Newlands, Rondebosch, Constantia or Wynberg, where you’ll find numerous international schools, as well as private South African schools that have garnered international recognition for their achievements in both sport and academics.
If you love the night life, Cape Town, with its numerous bars and clubs all crammed into a couple of square kilometers, will probably be most attractive to you.
Needless to say, while property and homes are quite cheaply acquired in the Cape Flats and neighboring suburbs, the high levels of crime, drug trafficking, gangsterism and prostitution in these areas make them unattractive to most.
Properties on the West Coast and in the Northern Suburbs, on the other hand, can be had in well-policed areas at very affordable prices. The downside for most is their distance from the bustle of the city centre, with its facilities for shopping and entertainment. They also tend to be dominated by very strong Christian communities, who keep the youth and society, in general, more strictly in line than parents of the secular inner city could ever hope to.
Moving down the South Peninsula, areas grow progressively less populous. The quaint harbor zones of Simon’s Town and Kalk Bay give way to large, wild areas, much of it bound up in nature reserves. Noordhoek, on the western coast of the peninsula, is a small seaside neighborhood that offers a level of peace and personal privacy one could never hope to find in the city, along with incredible views and access to vast expanses of unspoilt mountain and forest land. If you consider yourself more of a nature-person than a party animal, you might want to look at homes or land in this area, which can be purchased at very affordable prices.