Despite strong economic headwinds, demand for luxury estate living is on the rise. According to a recent report posted on iAfrica.com, this sector has returned to the pre-housing boom levels and is now very much on the rise.
As things stand, more than 250 000 properties are currently situated in estates around South Africa. Of these, 85% are considered security estates while another 12% form part of large, upmarket golf estates.
Jack Prentice, MD of Southdowns Management Services at the luxurious country style Southdowns Estate in Irene, Centurion can attest to the trend.
Demand is increasing
Says Prentice: “Far from tapering off, demand for property at our estate has increased significantly over the past few years despite the fact that the average freehold property costs between R4- and R5-million. Most of the demand stems from young, upwardly-mobile executives with families who are looking for statement homes, but retirees also have a presence with many seeking single-storey homes that can accommodate visiting family.
“As is the case with most estates, security is at the top of the list with most buyers but lifestyle is also a major consideration. Many buyers want to live in estates that offer a convenient mix of amenities such as schools, parks, shops, offices and spas and that lie within close proximity of business nodes and Gautrain stations. Southdowns offers all this and more, which is partly why we have enjoyed so much success.”
Estates go green
Prentice adds that eco-friendly and energy-saving initiatives are also increasingly coming to the fore with many estate homeowners investing in double glazed windows, insulated cavity walls, solar water heaters and photovoltaic installations. He says that buyers are also becoming increasingly selective about the overall look and feel of estates with many gravitating towards country-style living.
The iafrica.com report bolsters Prentice’s remarks. According to the report, a number of other professionals in the property development space have noticed the shift towards country estate living. Notably, several “super luxurious” estates have gone this route including Arabella Country Estate outside Hermanus, Blair Atholl Estate in Lanseria, Oubaai Golf Estate outside George and Cotswold Downs in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal. Cornwall Hill, Serengeti, Heritage Hill Estate and Crossways Farm Village are other examples of country-orientated estates.
Your investment is safe
Investment appeal is of course another reason behind the shift towards estate living. Prentice says that many view estates as financial safe havens given that they are (generally speaking) well managed, centrally located and maintained.
The fact that a number of estates took the top honours in the Financial Mail’s 2013 top performing suburbs survey lends credence to this premise. In Johannesburg, Fernridge Estate and Carlswald Estate made the top five; in Cape Town, Sunset Links Golf Estate, Stonehaven Estate and Kanonberg Lifestyle Estate were in the tickets and in Pretoria, Southdowns Estate, Country Lane Estate, Woodhill Residential Estate, Irene Farm Villages and Silver Lakes Golf Estate were named the area’s top performers.