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What are most over 50 buyers looking for in a retirement home, and where are they buying to live? Or what are they investing in to initially secure good rental income?


Everyone is trying to make smarter lifestyle decisions that also stretches their money further these days. So, has demand increased for retirement properties sold on a life rights system where set monthly expenses make it easier to cap a budget? Or, are retirees still buying security estate homes as a capital investment, enabling good rental income now, plus an option to live in themselves or sell later? “We see some of our best returns on investment in our retirement property segment,” says Alda Erasmus, head of communication, Central Developments. The Gauteng developer has two popular retirement estates, both full ownership properties within a sectional title scheme.

A two bedroom apartment at Celebration Retirement Estate in Northriding, Johannesburg North, starts from R1,28m. Two-bedroom apartments in Waterkloof Marina in Pretoria’s popular Waterkloof Ridge, are priced from R1,8m. “Retirement estates offering full ownership with lifestyle and frail care facilities on site are in short supply in Gauteng, yet there’s a very high demand for secure, service-enriched properties,” says Erasmus. “This strong demand and limited supply, coupled with full ownership, make these properties prime investments.”

“One of the biggest fears among retirees today is that they will outlive their retirement funds. For this reason, they need a retirement solution that allows them to accurately plan for their financial future,” says Evergreen Lifestyle sales director Phil Wilson. Evergreen’s life right purchase model offers financial benefits including flexible pricing, transparent and affordable levies, reduced upfront costs and no special levies (the developer is responsible for property upkeep). “Given the current state of the economy, and the fact that many retirees are cash-strapped and battling to sell existing homes, Evergreen has introduced a vertically integrated initiative called ‘Move in Tomorrow’ that allows interested parties to move into a village before their property has been sold.”


Wilson says priorities for Evergreen retirees are location and excellent security. “When deciding where to live, a great location seems to top the list. So, locations that are semi-rural and offer beauty, tranquillity and access to the great outdoors – parks, beaches, and mountain walks – all provide great enjoyment and an opportunity to remain fit and active.” Evergreen’s professionally run retirement villages all offer 24-hour security with strict access control, electric fencing, CCTV and patrols. A two-bedroom and two bathroom unit in Evergreen Noordhoek is priced from R2,4m, while the same specs on Val de Vie estate in the Winelands start at R3,7m. Broadacres Evergreen in Johannesburg, is priced from R720,000 for a one-bedroom apartment with one bathroom.

The Retreat Apartments are situated in Hazeldean, Pretoria East. The Retreat at Hazeldean estate is part of the Hazeldean mixed-use precinct that Craft Homes and Abland is developing. So, within 5km, a convenient shopping centre has coffee shops, while Intercare Hazeldean day hospital has an ambulance service linked to The Retreat’s residents’ panic buttons. One bedroom, one-bathroom apartments of 40m2 start from R899,000, while two-bedroom and one-bathroom apartments of 62m2 sell from R1,175m. The Retreat’s 24 new sectional title apartments were added at the end of 2020, and no transfer fees apply if buying from developer Craft Homes.

We see some of our best returns on investment in our retirement property segment. Alda Erasmus, head of communication, Central Developments


Celebration Retirement Estate, Northriding

Modern convenience

Rabie Properties director Mariska Auret says scaling down to a secure estate is a big factor for retirees. “Where everything is modern and managed with the utmost care, living are just so much easier,” she adds. “Our purchasers love being part of a like-minded community, while living in an attractive, secure environment with fantastic facilities at their disposal.” Rabie has existing owner residents at Oasis Life Clara Anna Fontein in Durbanville, the retiree section of multi generational Clara Anna Fontein estate. Near Milnerton, Oasis Life Burgundy Estate in the Burgundy Estate node will accept its first retiree residents from August. Operating on a life rights system, Burgundy Estate offers two bedroom, one bathroom apartments from R1,6m, or a two bedroom, two bathroom house from R2,33m.

The plusses of both Clara Anna Fontein and Burgundy Estate developments, based on feedback we’ve received, is that the quality and presentation of our houses are excellent Mariska Auret, director, Rabie Properties

Feeling connected

Estates where retirees feel connected to residents of other ages, is certainly a growing trend. “The thing that sets us apart is that our Evergreen retirement village is right in the middle of the estate. It’s fully integrated and we experience authentic multi-generational living,” says Val de Vie’s marketing director Ryk Neethling. “It’s an active lifestyle that fits modern retirement perfectly.” Wilson says Evergreen plans to roll out similar villages within Sitari Country Estate in Somerset West, Westbrook in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), and Zimbali in KwaZulu Natal.

With value top of mind, estates offering rentals are also in demand. Zevenwacht Lifestyle Estate is co developed by MSP Developments, Zevenwacht Wine Estate and Old Mutual. Located on Zevenwacht Wine Estate near Stellenbosch, it offers a range of accommodation, from freestanding homes to independent living apartments. The estate recently added luxury hotel-style retirement suites to rent. “We have 15 remaining luxury hotel-style suites on offer that a retiree can rent at the affordable monthly amount of R8,000,” says MSP Developments CEO Riaan Roos. He says the rental includes a monthly services levy, all daily meals and a weekly cleaning service. “This equates to just R267 per day, which is truly exceptional value for money.”

“We’ve had so much interest in people looking to rent rather than buy, as a lot of them didn’t plan adequately for retirement,” says Cabanita of trends at The Retreat. “So, as an investing buyer interested in securing tenant rentals now, you know you’ve got a place secured for your own retirement later.” What about frail care and dementia facilities on site: is it a must-have or does it put off younger residents still engaging in active lifestyles? Erasmus says having these on site is essential. “With it on site, couples are not separated should one fall ill. And even for younger residents, it gives peace of mind that it’s there, should they ever need it.”

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