Words: Betsie Loock-Van der Merwe | Images: Supplied
South Africa is home to spectacular golf estates, many with championship golf courses which have played host to some of the world’s top golfers. Over the years, living on these estates has become increasingly popular and highly sought-after. What are the current trends and key factors influencing property buyers’ decisions to invest in golf estates? Some of the country’s top real-estate experts share their views and experiences.
Why live on golf estates?
“As a warm, sunny country who loves outdoor sport including golf, it is easy to see the appeal of living on a golf estate,” says Samuel Seeff, chairman, Seeff Property Group. “Aside from being able to enjoy this sport as and when you feel like it, golf estates offer a secure, upmarket lifestyle and a fabulous environment for families.”
Roz Everitt, Eagle Canyon Golf Estate area specialist, Chas Everitt International, adds that nowadays “many residents are not even golfers, but they value and appreciate the estate which lends itself to a lifestyle where nature plays a role too”.
Most people choose golf estates for safety and security reasons, and so that their children can cycle, run and play freely within the estate without causing concern for their parents, says Loua Boshoff, broker and owner, RE/MAX Bushveld.
According to Seeff, the first-class properties – often luxury houses – in golf estates are another major attraction for buyers who are prepared to pay a premium for a home in a top-ranked estate. “These are residential and investment properties that carry significant status and/or trophy-home value.”
Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive, Pam Golding Property group, says, “For some buyers, having the peace of mind knowing that their families are securely ensconced within a secure golf estate with access to schooling and infrastructural facilities, enables the major breadwinner – who may well be a corporate executive or entrepreneur – to commute to major centres on business while still residing in a luxury home within a countrified ambience. With technological advances, however, many are able to work from their primary golf estate residence and travel on business only when required.”
Over the past several decades, golf-estate living has become well-ingrained as a desirable property genre choice. However, “these days it is rare to find a purchase made purely on the golf course itself, although this could be a differentiating factor when making a final purchase decision between two or more estate offerings”, says Golding.
“Estates with additional amenities – thus accommodating a range of interests – are also sought-after. Estate living also gives residents greater control over shared expenditure and development. This has become more important in the current environment of rising utility costs,” remarks Golding. “Also trending, are those estates situated in and around major metropolitan areas or business hubs and in close proximity to good schooling.”
Boshoff says another popular trend is that buyers purchase these properties as second or even third homes “that they rent to cover all the monthly expenses of the house with some change left over for the owner”.
“Current trends or demand among buyers include strong community involvement, high expectations of technology, eco-friendly properties, state-of-the-art security and aesthetically pleasing environments,” says Everitt.
Property professionals also experience a shift in the income profile of golf-estate buyers. “The fact that more and more estates are including a wider range of accommodation – sectional title and retirement villages – suggests that the current demand is across the board, not just from the high-end buyer,” says Golding. This ties in with the experience of Brandon van der Merwe, Ebotse Golf Estate area specialist, Chas Everitt International, that golf estates increasingly attract a broad spectrum of buyers as there is a range of property types to choose from, ranging from one-bedroom apartments to multi-million-rand mansions.
As congestion grows and security remains a priority, estate living becomes more popular. Similarly, with estates becoming more sustainable, the appeal to all buyers also grows.
Golding explains, “Estate living has become a highly desirable lifestyle choice for many homebuyers, coupled with sound long-term investment potential. Situated within scenic, secure environments, they provide the added benefit of a low-maintenance, lock-up-and-go, less stressful lifestyle with other facilities on site – ideal for both local and international buyers, some of whom spend several months of the year in South Africa.”
For Adrian Goslett, regional director and CEO, RE/MAX of Southern Africa, the issue of sustainability is clear-cut. “Golf courses have always had an enticing charm about them, particularly for real-estate investors. In fact, many fantasise about the day they get to retire next to their favourite green. The question isn’t whether golf estates are worth investing in, but which golf estates will earn the best return on investment.”
Brian Falconer, Chas Everitt International franchisee, Dainfern, expects the fact that comparatively few new golf estates are being planned to have an “extremely positive impact on property price appreciation given the fact that security is so much of a priority in the minds of astute buyers”.
“Security, the community lifestyle and capital growth are some of the reasons buyers are being attracted to the lush surroundings of golf estates. Most golf estates today include such activities as trail running, cycle paths, equestrian facilities and children’s social activities. They’re increasingly also offering a variety of housing opportunities to suit different lifestyle requirements and budgets.”
Craig Dixon, North Coast golf estate specialist, Chas Everitt International
Golf estates of note:
- Sardinia Golf & Wildlife Estate, Port Elizabeth
- Wedgewood Golf Estate, Port Elizabeth
- Little Walmer Golf Estate, Port Elizabeth
- Olivewood Private Estate and Golf Club, East London
- St Francis Links, St Francis Bay
- Katberg Eco Golf Estate & Hotel
- Simola Golf and Country Estate, Knysna
- Pezula Golf Estate, Knysna
- Fancourt Estate, George
- Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa, George
- De Zalze Winelands Golf Estate, Stellenbosch
- Pearl Valley Golf Estate, Paarl
- Steenberg Golf Estate, Cape Town
- Atlantic Beach Golf Estate, Melkbosstrand
- San Lameer, South Coast
- Mount Edgecombe Country Club Estate, Umhlanga
- Simbithi Eco Estate, Dolphin Coast
- Zimbali Estate, Dolphin Coast
- Cotswold Downs, Upper Highway
- Silver Lakes Golf Estate, Pretoria
- Woodhill Residential Estate, Pretoria
- Dainfern, north of Fourways
- Steyn City, north of Fourways
- Serengeti Estates, Kempton Park
- The Houghton, The Parks
- Eagle Canyon, Roodepoort
- Ebotse Golf & Country Estate, Benoni
- Heron Banks Golf & River Estate, Sasolburg