Secure lifestyle estates and retirement estates that are pet friendly or have schools on their premises are attracting homebuyers of all ages
WORDS: HELÉNE MEISSENHEIMER – IMAGES: SUPPLIED & SHUTTERSTOCK
Families with young, school-going children and people considering retirement are all after the freedom and peaceful quality of life offered by secure lifestyle estates and developments.
This is what makes these developments a sought-after home investment choice in South Africa.
Add the benefit of being able to walk your children to school or taking your pet for a stroll in a beautiful park-like setting and you may just want to move in for life. And that’s exactly what many families are doing.
“Since the lockdown, we’ve noticed that security, comfort and outdoor space top the list of what prospective buyers want,” says Central Developments Property Group head of communication Alda Erasmus.
More retirees are interested in either multigenerational or lifestyle estates with care amenities that allow them to be close to their families while continuing to enjoy having their own living space.
Pets are also part of many family setups. For this reason various developments are making provision to accommodate animals, but not without rules in place. For instance, some estates only allow small pets.
Estates for all
“Lifestyle estates are one of the fastest growing property trends in South Africa, which ranks among the countries with the highest number of estates globally,” says Seeff Property Group chairman Samuel Seeff.
Developers are consequently expanding their portfolio of homes to cater to a broad range of income groups. Rabie Property Group director Miguel Rodrigues confirms that this developer offers an array of lifestyle options within its Burgundy Estate near Cape Town.
There are apartments for single young homeowners or tenants as well as larger townhouses and houses that are more suited to families.
“The proximity of schools and preschools is most definitely a strong consideration for buyers. And in the retirement market especially, being allowed to have a pet is an important aspect of making a happy home,” says Rodrigues.
Having schools on the premises also encourages tenants with children of school-going age to sign longer leases, says Jessica Hofmeyr, head of Houss Rentals and Century Property Developments.
Buying a home is the biggest investment decision most people will ever make. It follows that a home with the added value of a safe environment, access to good schools and other superior amenities would be extremely attractive to buyers from all age groups.
“You don’t only get a high-quality property from a reliable developer with a well-established track record, you also get all the other communal amenities and services, like security, for the same price,” says Erasmus.
All the major metro areas in South Africa have a growing selection of lifestyle estates that have access to top-quality private schools on the premises or a short distance away. This includes developments in smaller enclaves such as Somerset West, Paarl, Stellenbosch and KwaZulu-Natal’s North Coast.
Setting the trend is Steyn City in Midrand. This city within a city offers an early-learning centre, a preparatory school and a college catering to learners up to Grade 11 (matric will also be offered next year). Children are able to walk or cycle to school or catch a ride on a safe shuttle.
Securing primary and high-school placements at reputable educational institutions can be a time-consuming and stressful mission. Having a school on the premises of a lifestyle estate greatly simplifies the process.
Parents have peace of mind knowing their children are receiving quality education, as estate developers take great care to include only educational institutions of a high standard on their premises. On South African estates the preference leans towards private schools with solid academic records like Curro, Reddam and other independent schools.
“More family time and fewer anxious hours spent in traffic make for a happier family overall,” says Rodrigues.
Grandparents next door
In step with the trend towards multigenerational estates, more retirement villages are being built adjacent to lifestyle estates with schools. This makes it easier for retirees to be involved in the school activities of their grandchildren.
Clara Anna Fontein Lifestyle Estate in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs, for example, offers three types of homes – a lock-up-and-go townhouse development, large plot-and-plan erven and a retirement development called Oasis Life.
Not far away, a retirement development is also under construction next to the burgeoning multigenerational development Burgundy Estate near Blouberg Beach. This development has three schools that cover the whole range from preschool to high school, and from 2021 learners in need of assisted learning will also be accommodated from Grade R to Grade 3.
Many South Africans, whether single, in a relationship or part of a family, have a special bond with a pet and would prefer a home that allows them to keep their furry or feathered companion. Catering to this demand, especially for older residents, most lifestyle and retirement estate developers now allow residents to keep a cat or a dog subject to rules usually determined by the homeowners’ association. “We find the pet-friendly topic is a big positive for us in the age bracket for retirement villages,” says Devmark Property Group national sales manager Bruwer de Jager.
As can be expected, the rules mostly concern the size of the pet and the number of pets depending on the size of both the home and the residential development.
For instance, some retirement estates allow only small pets that are not noisy and do not require space or exercise. This tends to apply where apartments don’t have gardens, explains Erasmus.
“In our other security estates where the houses have large gardens, we allow two medium-sized dogs per household, whereas only small dogs are allowed in ground-floor apartments that have small gardens,” she says.
According to Seeff, this trend will not be short-lived. “There’s no doubt that we’ll see continued demand for estates that offer these amenities and buyers are prepared to pay a premium for them,” he says.
Pet-friendly lifestyle estates
- All developments by Legaro, Devmark, Rabie, Central Developments Property Group, Houss Rentals and Century Property
- The Emerald and 38 Morsim, Hyde Park, Sandton
- Roundabout Brooklyn, Pretoria
- The Westbrook, Port Elizabeth
- Buh-Rein Estate, Plattekloof, Cape Town
- De Goede Hoop Estate, Noordhoek, Cape Town
- Welgevonden Estate, Stellenbosch
- Val de Vie Estate, Paarl
- Compton Estate, Klein D’Aria, Durbanville
- Hathersage Private Estate, Somerset West
- Sitari Country Estate, Somerset West
- Kindlewood Estate, Umhlanga
Pet-friendly retirement estates
- All Evergreen Lifestyle, Devmark and Rabie retirement developments
- Fonteine Village, Klipfontein Farm Lifestyle Estate, Malmesbury
- Helderberg Manor, Somerset West
- Lazuli Lifestyle & Retirement Estate, Port Zimbali
- Plettenberg Manor, Plettenberg Bay
- Shoreline Sibaya retirement estate, Umdloti
Lifestyle estates with schools
- Waterfall Country Estate, Midrand
- Blue Hills Country and Equestrian Estate, Midrand
- Cornwall Hill Country Estate, Irene
- Amberfield City, Centurion
- Leopard’s Rest, Alberton
- Palm Lakes estate, Ballito
- Westbrook development, Port Elizabeth
- Sitari Country Estate, Somerset West