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According to a recent report by New World Wealth, more than 40% of South Africa’s high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) already live in or own homes on residential estates, with the Winelands remaining the most popular area for estate living. Among the sought-after developments situated in this region, is Val de Vie in Paarl, a development consistently ranked by New World Wealth as the top residential estate in South Africa. In addition, Val de Vie last month received two awards at the 2020/2021 International Property Awards in the categories Best Leisure Development (for Val de Vie Evergreen) and Best Residential Development in SA.

According to Chris Cilliers, CEO and co-principal, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in the Winelands, lifestyle and innovation have been the winning recipe for the area’s success in this sector. “Although golf courses are still a popular feature on estates, there has been a move towards lifestyle and retirement properties, so a large, secure, multigenerational development such as Val de Vie ticks all the boxes,” she says. “The estate is attracting entire families, where grandparents living at Val de Vie Evergreen Retirement Village can be involved daily with their children and grandchildren and offer support.”

According to Cilliers, Val de Vie is on trend when it comes to the growing need for on-site clubhouses that can double as informal office areas where residents have access to Wi-Fi – and coffee on tap. “Val de Vie is building office blocks on the estate that residents can rent, and it offers a shared office facility for those who need a less formal space.” Another niche sector catered for in the Winelands is the equestrian market. “Horse owners generally want to live close enough to their horses to be able to ride regularly and with minimum fuss,” she says.

“Equestrians have a unique set of requirements – not only do they want secure and carefree living for themselves, they also want a secure and healthy environment for their horses, with plenty of space and exercise facilities as well as safe areas for outriding. Most equestrian estates also offer larger plot sizes, which appeal to people who prefer a more rural lifestyle.” Cilliers says the growing estate sector has remained consistent over the years, even at the top end of the market, with investments still yielding returns despite the current economic climate and the impact of Covid-19.

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