In KwaZulu-Natal, there are considerably more retirees than retirement facilities, but it appears that developers are becoming more active across this sector.
Fewer rand than retirement demands? You’re not alone. Downscaling from the family home into a gated estate, an over-50s complex or a retirement village used to be simple arithmetic. Now it’s high finance.
Statistics confirm that more than 90% of SA’s retirees have insufficient funds on which to retire. Today they aim to sell their homes, invest some of those profits and pay far less for the retirement scenario.
Problem is, units in gated communities are in demand, so prices have escalated more than those of freestanding homes. And there’s a dire shortage: land prices haven’t lent themselves to development in the past few years, but apparently, say property professionals, the tide is turning.
Rainmaker Marketing is working on launching Greenhaven Lifestyle Village in the Padfield Park (Upper Highway) area, and Hemingways, offering homes, assisted-living and frail-care options as part of a greater lifestyle precinct.
The maxim “Retire where you reside” is becoming harder to live by. That’s why suburbs such as Howick in the Midlands and South Coast towns have become retiree havens. At the Amber developments in Howick, investors have bought units, let them out and seen excellent returns on investment. Likewise on the South Coast.
“There’s massive demand for retirement homes, especially in the under-R1m price range,” says Bev Green of Tyson Properties Morningside. Langeler Towers is under construction on the southernmost point of Durban’s Golden Mile and is designed for over-55s, Green says, “It’s ideal for those who wouldn’t ordinarily have the budget for seaside living, and offers a few hundred unfurnished one-, two- and four-bedroom units with own bathroom and kitchen. Views are wonderful.”
Pam Golding Properties recently launched the 44-unit Oasis Retirement Estate in Umhlanga, an area where demand is great but affordability less so. Carol Reynolds, PGP area principal, says, “Oasis, with its 24-hour frail-care and 24/7 security, freestanding homes, step-less living and pets allowed, had a 30% take-up at launch. Prices start at R1,5m, and studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom options are available.”
In Hillcrest, Le Domaine for the active over-50s has been an undoubted success story, with a wide range of accommodation options from around R1,225m to R3,9m, sports amenities, landscaped gardens, assisted-living facilities and security. Myles Wakefield, CEO of Wakefields Estate Agents, says, “Le Domaine offers lifestyle. The estate is extremely well run, has strong financials and offers a country environment yet is easily accessible. Market-related priced properties usually sell in 48 hours.”