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The proportion of South Africans aged 50+ is projected to grow to over 15% by 2050. With people generally living longer, local property experts find the demand for senior housing rapidly increasing as well as drastically changing in type and style.

“Retirement now is a very different concept from what it used to be,” says Berry Everitt, CEO, Chas Everitt International property group. “It’s common to find people still working or even starting new business ventures in their 60s. Consequently, many are not ready to move to what we traditionally think of as old age homes or care centres until they are over 75.”

Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive, Pam Golding Properties, agrees. “While people may be retiring or semi-retiring, they certainly don’t want to retire from life. They want to be able to use this new phase as an opportunity to travel, be social, and engage passions they had to put aside while pursuing their careers and bringing up their children.”  The demand now is for retirement-type housing that meets these new lifestyle needs in one way or another.



Not everyone can afford to buy into an estate or a retirement village. Everitt says there’s a growing number of seniors organising themselves into “communes” where they share a large house with other seniors, and organise help with meals, laundry and transport.

“We’ve also seen a rise in demand for freehold properties that have ‘granny flats’ or garden cottages and can comfortably accommodate more than one generation of a family,” says Everitt.

Many families find it convenient and more secure to share one property, as well as the running costs and child-care responsibilities, between working parents and grandparents.

At the very top end of the market, realtors find many seniors selling their luxury homes to relocate to luxury apartments in buildings offering the amenities of a five-star hotel. “Major trends also include the integration of a senior housing component into many of the new lifestyle estates,” says Everitt. These homes appeal to seniors who are ready to scale down but still want access to estate facilities like golf courses, clubhouses and wellness centres.

In the middle upwards income bracket most clients seem to prefer purpose-built retirement villages. Says Nadia Aucamp, broker and manager, RE/MAX All Stars Gauteng, “People want to feel safe to walk the streets within the complex and have on-site health-care facilities, peer group interaction, and catering facilities.”



BLOK’s ground-breaking independent living concept EIGHTONN in Sea Point is an excellent choice for those wanting to retire to the Atlantic Seaboard without giving up the lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed.

On the West Coast, both The Village at the Langebaan Country Estate and Langebaan Manor Retirement & Lifestyle Estate promise a fully supported retirement lifestyle for active seniors who also want the peace of mind of having a frail-care and assisted living centre close by.

In Hermanus, retirees can enjoy a comfortable retirement in a stunning setting, with essential medical care and leisure activities on their doorstep. Popular developments include Negester Onrus, Onrus Manor, Kidbrook Place, and Golden Harvest.


Further up the coast on the banks of the Keurbooms Estuary, Plettenberg Manor has a range of different accommodation options, lifestyle offerings and care options.

Royalston Coastal Wildlife Estate in Port Elizabeth is located in the suburb of Colleen Glen, extending south towards the ocean, and comprises a fully-fledged 1,000ha wildlife reserve but with the conveniences of everyday living. The lifestyle village for over 50s is currently underway.

According to Kim Peacock, broker and owner of RE/MAX Dolphin Realtors, the demand in KwaZulu-Natal is ever-growing and usually exceeds the supply. Popular developments include Rob Roy Lifestyle Retirement Village, Lazuli Coastal Retirement Estate, Mount Edgecombe Retirement Village and Shoreline Sibaya, as well as the Hibiscus Retirement Village on the South Coast.



Smaller countryside towns located within an hour or two’s drive from a city are also sought-after among those preferring quiet and peaceful surrounds. Porterville in the Swartland, for example, have security complexes popular among retirement buyers, for example Lemoenkloof, Dodeka and Tamariskia.

Also in the heart of the Swartland, Fonteine Village in the Klipfontein Farm Lifestyle Estate in Malmesbury offers a variety of quality accommodation options with social and health-care options to suit all needs.

The Bushveld region of Limpopo is well-liked for its moderate climate and has several retirement developments, like Kolobe Retirement Village & Wildlife Estate and Die Oog.

The beautiful town of Howick in KZN has in recent years emerged as a popular retirement destination with developments such as The Ambers and St Johns.



Development powerhouse Rabie has added Oasis Life to their portfolio, with Clara Anna Fontein Lifestyle Estate in Durbanville, and estates in Century City and Burgandy Estate to follow later this year. Award-winning Val de Vie Evergreen in Paarl is another top choice.

De Plattekloof Lifestyle Estate, set on one of the top-three areas of Cape Town’s northern suburbs, offers a five-star lifestyle for over 50s. On the edge of Durbanville is Buh-Rein Retirement Village, offering independent and assisted living apartments.

The Zevenwacht Lifestyle Estate outside Stellenbosch has also recently introduced unique retirement living including lifestyle homes, independent living apartments and a care centre with assisted living suites and frail-care rooms.

Quadrant Gardens in Claremont, Cape Town, is another promising upmarket retirement development designed for over 60s and due for completion in July this year.


In Gauteng, Waterfall Hills Mature Lifestyle Estate near Midrand is a modern lifestyle concept designed for today’s mature generation. Aimed at the over 50s, Heritage Mature Lifestyle Estate is another development near Modderfontein offering modern units in a secure environment with healthcare services which are provided by TruCare Age-well Solutions.

La Vie Nouvelle Retirement & Wellness Village in Broadacres, where holistic wellness will take centre stage, is due for completion later this year.

Featherwood Retirement Estate in the east of Pretoria is still hugely popular with some new studio and two- and three-bedroom units available. The building of units in a new development in the Waterkloof Ridge area called Waterkloof Marina, will also commence soon.

“People reaching retirement age, whatever that may be, no longer wish to move into an old age home, but would rather move into a retirement property which is possibly within a larger estate where they can enjoy all the usual estate amenities and with medical care either on site or easily accessible” DR ANDREW GOLDING, CEO, PAM GOLDING PROPERTY GROUP



  • Careful scrutiny of the type of scheme is critical as each option is intricate and governed by various rules, laws and regulations.
  • Buy from a reputable developer with a track record of success in similar projects.
  • Check for additional monthly costs for services, levies and the like.
  • Check to see that all the advertised facilities that attracted you to the development have already been built and are running.


  • Freehold: individual/full title
  • Sectional title: apartments and semi-detached homes, some with small private gardens
  • Share block schemes: shares buy the right to use the unit
  • Life rights: buying life rights in a development
  • A mix of the above-mentioned options


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