WORDS: KIM MAXWELL IMAGES: ROSS CHARNOCK PHOTOGRAPHY, SUPPLIED & SHUTTERSTOCK
It’s an undeniable fact: South Africans are still opting to buy homes in secure estates. Of SA’s nearly 6.7m residential properties, Lightstone Property reports that these estates still hold nearly 20% of market share, with sectional title units just less than 15%.
It’s no wonder then that the number of new residential estates being developed across the country keeps growing by the year.
“We believe it’s a combination of factors,” says Multi Spectrum Property spokesperson Werner Scheffer, summing up the appeal of popular BuhRein Estate in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs. “A big driver is that people would like to stay in a safe environment that gives them great potential on their investment as well as the lifestyle they or their families would like to enjoy.”
Multifaceted security measures are what you’d expect of a modern estate.
“Security requirements are still the most important differentiator for estates fetching higher prices than homes in suburban areas because you can live carefree,” says Jessica Hofmeyr, sales, rentals, marketing and operations executive, Century Property Developments in Gauteng.
Executive director of Sitari Country Estate in Somerset West Claudius Combrinck, agrees. “South African estates typically perform better than residential suburbs as they tend to offer higher security and more lifestyle perks for residents’ enjoyment.”
Everything to everyone
Many estates now also include multiple property types within their estates to suit buyer flexibility, says Rabie Property Group director John Chapman. A Reddam school, a clubhouse with tennis and squash courts, a 25m pool and a gym, and “social hub” for teenagers are among the amenities.
Balwin Properties PR manager Lisa Sinclair says a good location is as important as on-site amenities. Balwin’s many lifestyle estates are conveniently located near highways and main roads for easy access to malls, schools, medical centres, business hubs, airports and restaurants. Developments in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape are close to beaches. “No matter the age or stage of life, Balwin developments deliver to all residents,” says Sinclair.
Century Property Developments’ The Hills Game Reserve Estate in Pretoria East also fits the country lifestyle in city proximity label nicely – it includes a game reserve with antelope and zebra for a Bushveld experience, yet modern conveniences are close.
Royalston Coastal Wildlife Estate in Port Elizabeth is a 1,000ha secured estate in the suburb of Colleen Glen. Currently comprising 185 residential properties over three estates, Royalston offers residents a fully-fledged game reserve with the conveniences of everyday city living, with a variety of shopping centres, schools, private medical facilities, golf courses and leisure opportunities a 10-minute drive away.
Also in PE, the first of nine villages are being built at Westbrook security estate, which is a mere 14km from the city centre. Developer Amdec Group uses the term “r-urban” to describe the trend of multigenerational estates that blend town and country.
At Val de Vie Estate in the Cape winelands, group marketing director Ryk Neethling notes that multigenerational estate living is important to the success of an estate and to the wellness of its residents. “Over the past seven years we’ve adapted our offering to cater to a wider range of clients and their changing needs,” he says.
In Malmesbury in the Swartland, Klipfontein Farm Lifestyle Estate is introducing a rural living benchmark – a modern, farm-like estate environment with views of the Swartland mountains and Table Mountain. It caters to first-time buyers, larger families and retirees.
A bit further afield, Mzuri Residential Estate has a semi-country location below the Hottentots Holland Mountains, with sweeping views of False Bay. Spokesman Craig Page-Lee says their research showed five key specs local property investors look for in luxury developments – state-of-the-art security; location in terms of schools, airports and work; good home design; layout and views; and a mix of residential options from apartments to townhouses, as well as homes with different room specs. They also want lock-up-and-go convenience and built-in maintenance, as well as on-site facilities and activities, and a community aspect.
Closer to Joburg, the allure of Steyn City lies not only in its properties but in “the Steyn City lifestyle” thanks to a community rooted in neighbourly values, numerous recreational facilities and access for every property to an 800ha parkland, according to marketing and events group head Tammy Menton.
She says continually adding to the offerings is key to an estate’s success. “We recently launched an indoor aquatic centre; a dino park where children spend hours digging for fossils; and a landscaped amphitheatre, the perfect venue for picnics and outdoor concerts.”
I recently visited the top-10 estates in Florida and North Carolina. I can honestly say that we’re far ahead in lifestyle offerings. RYK NEETHLING, GROUP MARKETING DIRECTOR, VAL DE VIE