Cover pic credit: Steyn City
WORDS: DEBBIE HATHWAY, KIM MAXWELL & EDITORIAL TEAM IMAGES: SUPPLIED & SHUTERSTOCK
While residential estates are becoming more and more popular internationally, SA ranks second only to the US for the number of such developments. SA is a global pioneer in residential and developments, reports New World Wealth, with annual research suggesting a move away from traditional golf estates towards lifestyle and retirement estates. In fact, New World Wealth reports 40% of SA’s wealthiest citizens are buying property in luxury gated developments. And Gauteng is home to some of the country’s trendsetting developments.
First but not least
Located near Broadacres in Joburg, Steyn City School offers world-class education to learners from Grade 000 to high school. In addition, a beautifully designed commercial park as well as formal and casual dining facilities allow homeowners to enjoy the ultimate live-work-play lifestyle. Prices of homes and apartments range from R2m to R40m. Steyn City is the primary residence for most of its buyers but there are a handful of investors who have bought their properties for older children studying in Gauteng while they live elsewhere in the country.
This development is positioned as an exceptional lifestyle resort incorporating nearly 810ha of landscaped parklands. Its birdlife is particularly impressive, with wild finches, owls, hornbills and bee-eaters all being common on the estate.
The developers have considered every conceivable lifestyle amenity to accommodate a wide range of interests and pursuits. Everything from golf and horse-riding to outdoor gyms and yoga mats are offered. There are also tennis courts, children’s play nodes, an indoor aquatic centre, a mountain-bike trail and more than 40km of promenade for walking, jogging and cycling.
Construction has started on Munyaka’s freshwater Crystal Lagoon, boundary wall, gatehouse, lifestyle centre and apartment show block. The balance of apartments will be rolled out over the next eight years.
Mid-level buyers are the primary target for this amenities-driven development. The bulk of the 5,020 apartments will be architecturally designed one-, two-and three-bedroom units priced from R799,000. Balwin will also develop two ultra-luxurious penthouses with 180º views of the Crystal Lagoon that are expected to be marketed at R30m.
Targeting active luxury buyers (likely golfers), Brookfield at Royal in Sandringham is another sectional title development launching in March. Prices range from R1,19m for a 45m² one-bedroom to R4,19m for a 154m² ground-floor apartment with spacious garden views of the golf course.
“We’ve had more than R100m in sales already during the February prelaunch to Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Club members,” says Tim Kloeck, CEO of Tricolt, the developer of Brookfield at Royal. “It’s a big thing. The Championship East course was rated number one in SA. This is probably one of the most illustrious addresses left in old Joburg. This part of town doesn’t have a security estate on a golf course.”
Tricolt was also involved in developing The Houghton luxury apartments that overlook The Houghton golf course, and it launched luxury residential development Ellipse in Waterfall in late 2018. “The luxury market may seem dead but we’re prospering with R900m in sales last year for Ellipse. So people are starting to see Tricolt as a solid brand for upmarket projects,” says Kloeck. “There’s always a hook and a differentiator to a Tricolt project, and that’s why they support us.”
It’s 2020 and many security-aware South Africans are selling their freestanding homes in favour of property in gated communities. Golf estates have been a popular choice traditionally, but eco-estate and wildlife development homes are now broadening the residential mix. Many move to upmarket suburban estates or smaller mixed-use urban developments, usually to apartments sold as sectional title. Mixed-use options are increasing in popularity because they offer convenient proximity that reduce traffic and helps people simplify their schedules.
Amdec Property Developments MD Nicholas Stopforth believes that while there’s saturation in traditional property, demand for mixed-use developments is starting to outweigh supply. “One on Whitely in Joburg’s Melrose Arch Precinct is already 94% sold out, with only a handful of units available for sale,” he says.
Only eight urban units remain – these one-bedroom, one-bathroom units with a parking bay each are priced from R2,52m. The convenience factor is compelling. “Much of Joburg’s urban sprawl necessitates the use of transport to commute to and from work and indulge in leisure time, which is exhausting, time-consuming and expensive.”
How important are the “extras” in a tight economy? Most estate and mixed-used developers offer amenities and green spaces. Yet more and more buyers are looking for sustainable features as well.
One on Whitely provides residents with a convenient environment of urban safety. “Joburg is currently a depressed property market, especially in the high-end luxury section title segment. Typically anything above R1,5m is languishing on the market,” says Stopforth.
A location in Melrose Arch creates higher value and translates to sales, achieving about a 30% buy-to-live and 70% investor market split for this development. “You can walk to the coffee shop or to your apartment at 2am in complete safety. This is the reason why we trade our unit numbers at a significantly higher volume than the general Joburg area and surrounds.”
Brookfield at Royal is probably one of the most illustrious addresses left in old Joburg. This part of town doesn’t have a security estate on a golf course. TIM KLOECK, CEO, TRICOLT